The news of a Facebook more open is always welcomed. Yesterday, the news about a more open network surfaced after a post on the official Facebook blog. There Joel Kaplan and Justin Osofsky talked about a photos that are offensive in some parts of the world and about allowing news that might offend someone in the name of freedom of speech.
“Observing global standards for our community is complex. Whether an image is newsworthy or historically significant is highly subjective. Images of nudity or violence that are acceptable in one part of the world may be offensive — or even illegal — in another. Respecting local norms and upholding global practices often come into conflict. And people often disagree about what standards should be in place to ensure a community that is both safe and open to expression. In the weeks ahead, we’re going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest — even if they might otherwise violate our standards. We will work with our community and partners to explore exactly how to do this, both through new tools and approaches to enforcement. Our intent is to allow more images and stories without posing safety risks or showing graphic images to minors and others who do not want to see them.”
This is a new and mature approach for Facebook since only in the last year the network removed photos or posts or even suspended some accounts. However at the insistence of millions of users, Facebook chooses to be more open-minded. And since most of us rely on websites like Facebook and Twitter to get our new, a openness to news that might hurt our feelings is the way to have a full view of the story.
On another note, the social network heavily relies on algorithms to remove offensive or NSFW content; this will also change according to an insider since more people will be hired for the sole purpose of removing unsuitable posts. Previously many live videos involving injustice were removed by Facebook and later put back on with the usual “We’re sorry.”
Sure these changes are far away from the liberty of websites like Twitter or Tumblr, but at least they choose to take users opinion into account and try to make a first step into the freedom of speech direction.