Facebook is receiving some not-so-glowing reviews for its just-released guidelines that determine what's permitted – and what's not – on its digital platform.
On a social media platform that has more than two billion users, it's safe to say that eventually someone is going to post something controversial that will offend others. And pretty much everyone agrees Facebook has the right – the duty, even – to remove threats of terror or violence, illegal pornography, or material manifestly harmful to children. But the rules about "hate speech" in the 25 pages of guidelines are a little more subjective.
In fact, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had a hard time with the issue when he faced Congress earlier this month and was asked if he could define hate speech:
Zuckerberg: "Senator, I think of this as a really hard question, and I think it's one of the reasons why we struggle with it."
Nonetheless, Facebook – for the first time, says RedState – has allowed its users to see the rules and guidelines used by content monitors. "Most of the guidelines remain unchanged," says that report. "The unusual release seems to be part of an effort to quell growing criticism of Facebook's 'hidden agenda' and secrecy."
Curtis Houck of Media Research Center gets more specific. He tells OneNewsNow that the social media giant wants to keep all manner of sexually confused individuals and the usual cast of minorities from any angst.
"What you're seeing here is this half-baked attempt by Facebook to try and come up with something," he states. "And it's so subjective here that I think it is something that conservatives should be concerned about."
Conservatives, perhaps, like Pastor Rich Penkoski, who has a bit of a history with Facebook. He says he truly doesn't want to offend anyone, but he also says he has a responsibility to preach the Word of God – no matter who it offends. It's gotten so bad, he explains, that even his "non-offensive" sermons are being yanked.
"Last Thursday I did a video titled 'Love Your Neighbor,'" he shares. "When I finished the video and hit 'End' and 'Post,' within three seconds the video was just gone. There was nothing controversial about it, absolutely nothing."
Penkoski contends the guidelines Facebook released this week are meant to appease users who are upset about data breaches and conservative censorship.