Facebook is cracking down on violent, sexist content in response to an open letter issued last week by Women, Action & the Media (WAM). The group demanded that Facebook add gender-based hate speech to its list of forbidden content. The social network has today agreed to add gender-based hate to its list of unacceptable content and has committed to ridding its site of it and is updating its guidelines to training moderators.
The company’s blog says, “A few months ago we began testing a new requirement that the creator of any content containing cruel and insensitive humor include his or her authentic identity for the content to remain on Facebook. As a result, if an individual decides to publicly share cruel and insensitive content, users can hold the author accountable and directly object to the content. We will continue to develop this policy based on the results so far, which indicate that it is helping create a better environment for Facebook users.”
In Italy today, a prosecutor opened an investigation into how Facebook allowed the abusive posts from bullies of a 14-year-old girl who later committed suicide by leaping to her death from a third-floor window. She died in January after a gang of boys used Facebook to circulated a video of her appearing drunk in a bathroom at a party.
The Italian Parents Association has filed a criminal complaint against Facebook. ”This is the first time a parents’ group has filed such a complaint against Facebook in Europe,” said Antonio Affinita, the director. ”Italian law forbids minors under 18 signing contracts, yet Facebook is effectively entering into a contract with minors regarding their privacy, without their parents knowing.”
Remember Facebook Notes? A report out today says that the little-used blogging feature is about to get an overhaul to compete with Tumblr. According to TechCrunch, “when it comes down to it, Facebook is more limiting but consistent and easy for the masses. Tumblr gives you more freedom and control… If Facebook wants to house our whole digital lives, it may need to get serious about blogging. It’d be a big undertaking for the social network that could take a while to come to fruition. But better Notes could fill it with high-quality content, pull in ad views, and box out competitors trying to pick away at the Facebook empire.”
On a lighter note, a family of foxes has moved onto Facebook’s California campus. Facebook employees taking and posting photos of them one Facebook page.