Here’s Everything That’s Banned on Facebook, All on One Page

By Bryan Menegus on at

Facebook has publicly released its most complete community guidelines to date after many years keeping the specific rules its moderators used to govern the platform secret. The update tacked over 5,000 more words onto the already unwieldy document, which now includes highly specific examples of banned or heavily regulated content.

Is any of it at all surprising? Well, yes. Most platforms have rules that outline common-sense genres of content they’d rather not be liable for—harassment, hate speech, gore, child endangerment, etc.—and these are no different. But as a reflection of its size and global reach, Facebook’s guidelines include some of the most granular examples of what not to do online. Cannibalism is off limits. “Sexualized massages” are specifically barred. Staged animal fights won’t fly, and neither will videos of animals being processed for food. Images of buttocks or an anus are a no-go, “unless photoshopped on a public figure.”

Facebook may be the only platform (at least that I’m aware of) to specifically flag “crisis actor” conspiracies peddled by malicious wingnuts that target the victims of mass tragedies—an example one hopes other social sites follow.

It’s unfortunate that we’re only seeing this information as part of Facebook’s desperate campaign to win back goodwill after the Cambridge Analytica scandal thrashed user trust. And it’s more unfortunate still that these guidelines are nowhere to be found on the site’s front page, and that if someone happens to navigate to the Community Standards, these rules are divided into 22 separate pages housed within six subsections. So we reprinted them all below where they’re easily searchable:

INTRODUCTION

Every day, people come to Facebook to share their stories, see the world through the eyes of others, and connect with friends and causes. The conversations that happen on Facebook reflect the diversity of a community of more than two billion people communicating across countries and cultures and in dozens of languages, posting everything from text to photos and videos.

We recognize how important it is for Facebook to be a place where people feel empowered to communicate, and we take our role in keeping abuse off our service seriously. That’s why we have developed a set of Community Standards that outline what is and is not allowed on Facebook. Our Standards apply around the world to all types of content. They’re designed to be comprehensive – for example, content that might not be considered hate speech may still be removed for violating our bullying policies.

The goal of our Community Standards is to encourage expression and create a safe environment. We base our policies on input from our community and from experts in fields such as technology and public safety. Our policies are also rooted in the following principles:

Safety: People need to feel safe in order to build community. We are committed to removing content that encourages real-world harm, including (but not limited to) physical, financial, and emotional injury.

Voice: Our mission is all about embracing diverse views. We err on the side of allowing content, even when some find it objectionable, unless removing that content can prevent a specific harm. Moreover, at times we will allow content that might otherwise violate our standards if we feel that it is newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest. We do this only after weighing the public interest value of the content against the risk of real-world harm.

Equity: Our community is global and diverse. Our policies may seem broad, but that is because we apply them consistently and fairly to a community that transcends regions, cultures, and languages. As a result, our Community Standards can sometimes appear less nuanced than we would like, leading to an outcome that is at odds with their underlying purpose. For that reason, in some cases, and when we are provided with additional context, we make a decision based on the spirit, rather than the letter, of the policy.

Everyone on Facebook plays a part in keeping the platform safe and respectful. We ask people to share responsibly and to let us know when they see something that may violate our Community Standards. We make it easy for people to report potentially violating content, including Pages, Groups, profiles, individual content, and/or comments to us for review. We also give people the option to block, unfollow, or hide people and posts, so that they can control their own experience on Facebook.

The consequences for violating our Community Standards vary depending on the severity of the violation and a person’s history on the platform. For instance, we may warn someone for a first violation, but if they continue to violate our policies, we may restrict their ability to post on Facebook or disable their profile. We also may notify law enforcement when we believe there is a genuine risk of physical harm or a direct threat to public safety.

Our Community Standards, which we will continue to develop over time, serve as a guide for how to communicate on Facebook. It is in this spirit that we ask members of the Facebook community to follow these guidelines.

Violence and Criminal Behavior

1. Credible Violence

Policy Rationale

We aim to prevent potential real-world harm that may be related to content on Facebook. We understand that people commonly express disdain or disagreement by threatening or calling for violence in facetious and non-serious ways. That’s why we try to consider the language, context and details in order to distinguish casual statements from content that constitutes a credible threat to public or personal safety. In determining whether a threat is credible, we may also consider additional information like a targeted person’s public visibility and vulnerability. We remove content, disable accounts, and work with law enforcement when we believe there is a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety.

Do not post:

The following threats:

Credible statements of intent to commit violence against any person, groups of people, or place (city or smaller). We assess credibility based upon the information available to us and generally consider statements credible if the following are present: A target (person, group of people, or place) and; Bounty/demand for payment, or; Mention or image of specific weapon, or; Sales offer or ask to purchase weapon, or; Spelled-out address or named building, or; A target and two or more of the following details (can be two of the same detail): Location; Timing; Method; Any statement of intent to commit violence against a vulnerable person (identified by name, title, image, or other reference) or vulnerable group, including (but not limited to) heads-of-state, witnesses and confidential informants, activists, and journalists

Calls for violence or statements advocating violence against the following targets (identified by name, title, image, or other reference): Any vulnerable person or group including (but not limited to) heads of state, national elected officials, witnesses and confidential informants, activists, and journalists; Public individuals, if credible as defined above; Groups of people or unnamed specific person(s), if credible; Places, if credible; Where no target is specified but a symbol representing the target or a visual of weapons is included

Aspirational and conditional statements of violence against: Any vulnerable groups; Public individuals, if credible (unless the individual is convicted of certain crimes or is a member of a dangerous organization); Vulnerable person(s), if credible; Groups of people or unnamed specific person(s), if credible. Places, if credible

Any content created for the express purpose of outing an individual as a member of a designated and recognizable at-risk group

Instructions on how to make or use weapons if the goal is to injure or kill people as may be evident from:

As evident from language explicitly stating that goal, or; As evident from imagery that shows or simulates the end result (serious injury or death) as part of the instruction; Unless there is clear context that the content is for an alternative purpose (for example, shared as part of recreational self-defense activities, training by a country’s military, commercial video games, or news coverage)

Instructions on how to make or use explosives, unless there is clear context that the content is for a non-violent purpose (for example, clear scientific/educational purpose use or fireworks)

Exposure of vulnerable individuals’ identities without their permission

Any content containing statements of intent, calls for action, or advocating for violence due to the outcome of an election

2. Dangerous Individuals and Organizations

Policy Rationale

In an effort to prevent and disrupt real-world harm, we do not allow any organizations or individuals that are engaged in the following to have a presence on Facebook:

Terrorist activity, Organized hate, Mass or serial murder, Human trafficking, Organized violence or criminal activity

We also remove content that expresses support or praise for groups, leaders, or individuals involved in these activities.

We do not allow the following people (living or deceased) or groups to maintain a presence (for example, have an account, Page, Group) on our platform:

Terrorist organizations and terrorists

A terrorist organization is defined as: Any non-governmental organization that engages in premeditated acts of violence against persons or property to intimidate a civilian population, government, or international organization in order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim. A member of a terrorist organization or any person who commits a terrorist act is considered a terrorist. A terrorist act is defined as a premeditated act of violence against persons or property carried out by a non-government actor to intimidate a civilian population, government, or international organization in order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim.

Hate organizations and their leaders and prominent members

A hate organization is defined as: Any association of three or more people that is organized under a name, sign, or symbol and that has an ideology, statements, or physical actions that attack individuals based on characteristics, including race, religious affiliation, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexual orientation, serious disease or disability.

Mass and serial murderers

We consider a homicide to be a mass murder if it results in four or more deaths in one incident. We consider any individual who has committed two or more murders over multiple incidents or locations a serial murderer. We make these assessments based upon the information available to us and will generally apply this policy to a mass or serial murderer who meets any of the following criteria: They were convicted of mass or serial murder. They were killed by law enforcement during commission of the mass or serial murder or during subsequent flight. They killed themselves at the scene or in the aftermath of the mass or serial murder. They were identified by law enforcement with images from the crime.

Human trafficking groups and their leaders

Human trafficking groups are organizations responsible for any of the following: Prostitution of others, forced/bonded labor, slavery, or the removal of organsRecruiting, transporting, transferring, detaining, providing, harboring, or receiving a minor, or an adult against their will

Criminal organizations and their leaders and prominent members: A criminal organization is defined as: Any association of three or more people that is united under a name, color(s), hand gesture(s) or recognized indicia, that has engaged in or threatens to engage in criminal activity, including (but not limited to) Homicide; Drug trafficking; Arms trafficking; Identity theft; Money laundering; Extortion or trafficking; Assault; Kidnapping; Sexual exploitation (covered in section 7 and section 8)

We do not allow symbols that represent any of the above organizations or individuals to be shared on our platform without context that condemns or neutrally discusses the content.

We do not allow content that praises any of the above organizations or individuals or any acts committed by them.

We do not allow coordination of support for any of the above organizations or individuals or any acts committed by them.

3. Promoting or Publicizing Crime

Policy Rationale

We prohibit people from promoting or publicizing violent crime, theft, and/or fraud because we do not want to condone this activity and because there is a risk of copycat behavior. We also do not allow people to depict criminal activity or admit to crimes they or their associates have committed. We do, however, allow people to debate or advocate for the legality of criminal activities, as well as address them in a rhetorical or satirical way.

Do not post:

Content depicting, admitting, or promoting the following criminal acts committed by you or your associates Acts of physical harm committed against people; Acts of physical harm committed against animals except in cases of hunting, fishing, religious sacrifice, or food preparation/processing; Poaching or selling endangered species or their parts; Staged animal vs. animal fights; Theft; Vandalism or property damage; Fraud; Trafficking as referenced in section 2; Sexual violence or sexual exploitation, including sexual assault, as referenced in section 7 and section 8

4. Coordinating Harm

Policy Rationale

In an effort to prevent and disrupt real-world harm, we prohibit people from facilitating or coordinating future criminal activity that is intended or likely to cause harm to people, businesses, or animals. People can draw attention to harmful activity that they may witness or experience as long as they do not advocate for or coordinate harm.

Do not post:

Statements of intent, calls to action, or advocation for the following:

Acts of physical harm committed against people Acts of physical harm committed against animals except in cases of hunting, fishing, religious sacrifice, or food preparation/processing; Poaching or selling endangered species and their parts; Staged animal vs. animal fights; Theft Vandalism/property damage; Fraud; Trafficking as referenced in section 2; Sexual violence or sexual exploitation, including sexual assault, as referenced in section 7 and section 8

Offers of services to smuggle or assist in smuggling people.

5. Regulated Goods

Policy Rationale

To encourage safety and compliance with common legal restrictions, we prohibit attempts by individuals, manufacturers, and retailers to purchase, sell, or trade non-medical drugs, pharmaceutical drugs, and marijuana. We also prohibit the purchase, sale, gifting, exchange, and transfer of firearms, including firearm parts or ammunition, between private individuals on Facebook. Some of these items are not regulated everywhere; however, because of the borderless nature of our community, we try to enforce our policies as consistently as possible. Firearm stores and online retailers may promote items available for sale off of our services as long as those retailers comply with all applicable laws and regulations. We allow discussions about sales of firearms and firearm parts in stores or by online retailers and advocating for changes to firearm regulation. Regulated goods that are not prohibited by our Community Standards may be subject to our more stringent Commerce Policies.

Do not post:

Content about non-medical drugs (other than alcohol or tobacco) that Coordinates or encourages others to sell non-medical drugs; Depicts, admits to, or promotes sales of non-medical drugs by the poster of the content or their associates; Promotes, encourages, coordinates, or provides instructions for use of non-medical drugsl; Admits, either in writing or verbally, to personal use of non-medical drugs unless posted in a recovery context

Content that depicts the sale or attempt to purchase marijuana and pharmaceutical drugs. This includes content that: Mentions or depicts marijuana or pharmaceutical drugs; Makes an attempt to sell or trade, by which we mean any of the following: Explicitly mentioning the product is for sale or trade; Asking the audience to buy; Listing the price; Encouraging contact about the product either by explicitly asking to be contacted or including any type of contact information; Attempting to solicit the product, defined as: Stating interest in buying the product, or Asking if anyone has the product for sale/trade. This applies to both individual pieces of content and Pages and Groups primarily dedicated to the sale of marijuana or pharmaceutical drugs

Content that attempts to sell, gift, exchange, or transfer firearms, firearm parts, ammunition, or explosives between private individuals. This includes content that: Mentions or depicts firearms, firearm parts, ammunition, or explosives and a product unrelated to firearms, and; Makes an attempt to sell or transfer including any of the following, unless posted by an entity representing a brick-and-mortar store, legitimate website, or brand: Explicitly mentioning the product is for sale or trade; Asking the audience to buyListing the price or noting that the product is freeEncouraging contact about the product either by: Explicitly asking to be contacted; Including any type of contact information; Making an attempt to solicit the item for sale, defined as: Stating that they are interested in buying the good, or; Asking if anyone else has the good for sale/trade

For the following content, we restrict visibility to adults twenty-one years of age and older:

Content posted by a brick-and-mortar store, legitimate website, or brand, which coordinates or promotes the sale or transfer of firearms, firearm parts, ammunition, or explosives. This includes content that: Explicitly mentions the product is for sale or transfer and; Asks the audience to buy the product, or; Lists the price or notes that the product is free, or; Encourages contact about the product either by explicitly asking to be contacted or including any type of contact information

Safety

6. Suicide and Self-Injury

Policy Rationale

We aim to prevent potential real-world harm that may be related to content on Facebook. We understand that people commonly express disdain or disagreement by threatening or calling for violence in facetious and non-serious ways. That’s why we try to consider the language, context and details in order to distinguish casual statements from content that constitutes a credible threat to public or personal safety. In determining whether a threat is credible, we may also consider additional information like a targeted person’s public visibility and vulnerability. We remove content, disable accounts, and work with law enforcement when we believe there is a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety.

Do not post:

Content that promotes, encourages, coordinates, or provides instructions for SuicideSelf-injury; Eating disorders

Content about self-injury that contains promotional slogans without clear, anti- self-injury disclaimers

Except in limited situations of newsworthiness, it is against our policies to post content depicting a person who engaged in a suicide attempt or death by suicide

For the following content, we include a warning screen so that people are aware the content may be disturbing:

Photos or videos depicting a person’s death by suicide that are determined to be newsworthyPhotos or videos depicting a person who engaged in euthanasia/assisted suicide in a medical setting

We provide resources to people who post written or verbal admissions of engagement in self injury, including: SuicideEuthanasia/assisted suicide; Self mutilation; Eating disordersImages where more than one cut of self mutilation is present on a body part and the primary subject of the image is one or more unhealed cuts

7. Child Nudity and Sexual Exploitation of Children

Policy Rationale

We do not allow content that sexually exploits or endangers children. When we become aware of apparent child exploitation, we report it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), in compliance with applicable law. We know that sometimes people share nude images of their own children with good intentions; however, we generally remove these images because of the potential for abuse by others and to help avoid the possibility of other people reusing or misappropriating the images.

We also work with external experts, including the Facebook Safety Advisory Board, to discuss and improve our policies and enforcement around online safety issues, especially with regard to children.

Do not post:

Content that depicts participation in or advocates for the sexual exploitation of children, including (but not limited to)

Engaging in any sexual activity involving minors; Soliciting, displaying, sharing, or viewing imagery of nude, sexualized, or sexual activity with minors; Arranging real-world sexual encounters or obtaining sexual material from a minor directly; Adults soliciting minors; Minors soliciting minors; Displaying nudity to minors; Minors soliciting adultsUsing our products and site functionality with the intention of sexualizing minors

Content (including photos, videos, real-world art, digital content, and text) that depicts

Any sexual activity involving minors; Minors in a sexual fetish context; Minors with sexual elements, including (but not limited to): Restraints; Focus on genitals; Presence of aroused adult; Presence of sex toys; Sexualized costume; StrippingStaged environment (for example, on a bed) or professionally shot (quality/focus/angles); Open-mouth kissing with minor or adult

Content (including photos, videos, real-world art, digital content, and verbal depictions) that shows minors in a sexualized context

Content that depicts child nudity where nudity is defined as

Visible genitalia (even when covered or obscured by transparent clothing); Visible anus and/or fully nude close-up of buttocks; Uncovered female nipples for children older than toddler-age; No clothes present from neck to knee for children older than toddler; Digitally-created depictions of nude minors, unless the image is for health or educational purposes

8. Sexual Exploitation of Adults

Policy Rationale

We recognize the importance of Facebook as a place to discuss and draw attention to sexual violence and exploitation. We believe this is an important part of building common understanding and community. In an effort to create space for this conversation while promoting a safe environment, we remove content that depicts, threatens or promotes sexual violence, sexual assault, or sexual exploitation, while also allowing space for victims to share their experiences. We remove content that displays, advocates for, or coordinates sexual acts with non-consenting parties or commercial sexual services. We do this to avoid facilitating transactions that may involve trafficking, coercion, and non-consensual sexual acts. “Sexual services” include prostitution, escort services, sexual massages, and filmed sexual activity.

To protect victims and survivors, we also remove images that depict incidents of sexual violence and intimate images shared without permission from the people pictured. For additional information on these efforts, please visit Using Technology to Protect Intimate Images and Help Build a Safe Community, as well as our guide to reporting and removing intimate images shared without your consent.

Do not post:

Content (including photos, videos, digital content, and verbal depictions) that shows or advocates for any form of crushing, necrophilia, bestiality, or non-consensual sexual touching.

Content that attempts to exploit people by any of the following: Coercing money, favors, or illicit images from people by threats of exposure of their naked or semi-naked photos/videos.

Sharing imagery that fulfills all three of the following conditions: Image is non-commercial or produced in a private setting; Person in the image is (near) nude, engaged in sexual activity, or in a sexual pose; Lack of consent to share the image is indicated by Vengeful context (for example, caption, comments, or page title); Independent sources (for example, media coverage or law enforcement record); A visible match between the person depicted in the image and the person who has reported the content to us; The person who reported the content to us shares the same name as the person depicted in the image; Sharing imagery where the focal point is crotch, chest, buttocks, or up-skirt and either; The person in the image is apparently not aware the image is being takenIt would be impossible to determine whether the person is aware; Threatening or stating an intent to share intimate imagery without consentSoliciting intimate imagery to view or share without consent

Attempts to coordinate adult sexual services or engaging in sexual solicitation including (but not limited to)

• Escort servicesProstitution; Filmed sexual encounters; Sexualized massage; Requesting rates on images of escorts; Offering contact information with escort images or sexual solicitation slang terms; Arranged marriages with refugees or internally displaced persons; Paid domination service; Offering or soliciting sex or sexual fetish partners

9. Bullying

Policy Rationale

Bullying happens in many places and comes in many different forms from making statements degrading someone’s character to posting inappropriate images to threatening someone. We do not tolerate bullying on Facebook because we want the members of our community to feel safe and respected.

We will remove content that purposefully targets private individuals with the intention of degrading or shaming them. We recognize that bullying can be especially harmful to minors, and our policies provide heightened protection for minors because they are more vulnerable and susceptible to online bullying. In certain instances, we require the individual who is the target of bullying to report content to us before removing it.

Our bullying policies do not apply to public figures because we want to allow discourse, which often includes critical discussion of people who are featured in the news or who have a large public audience. Discussion of public figures nonetheless must comply with our Community Standards, and we will remove content about public figures that violates other policies, including hate speech or credible threats.

Our Bullying Prevention Hub is a resource for teens, parents, and educators seeking support for issues related to bullying and other conflicts. It offers step-by-step guidance, including on how to start important conversations for people being bullied, parents who have a child being bullied or accused of bullying, and educators who have students involved with bullying.

Do not post:

Content about another private individual that reflects

Claims about sexual activity; Degrading physical descriptions about or ranking individuals on physical appearance or personality; Threats of non-consensual sexual touching; Sexualized text targeting another individual; An individual in a context that is intended to degrade, for example, menstruating, urinating, vomiting, or defecating; Physical bullying where the context further degrades the individual; Comparison to animals that are culturally perceived as intellectually or physically inferior or to an inanimate object

Content that has been photoshopped to target and demean an individual, including by highlighting specific physical characteristics or threatening violence in text or with imagery

Content that specifies an individual as the target of

Statements of intent to commit violence; Calls for action of violence; Statements advocating violence; Aspirational and conditional statements of violence; Physical bullying

In addition, we may remove Pages or Groups that are dedicated to attacking individual(s) by, for example

Cursing at an individual or individuals; Making negative character claimsMaking negative ability claims

We also remove content that is targeted at minors when it contains:

• CursingClaims about romantic involvement or sexual orientation; Allegations about criminal or illegal behavior; Coordinating, advocating, or promoting exclusion; Negative character claims; Negative ability claims; Negative physical description; Expressions of contempt or disgust; Calls for death or serious disease or disability; Videos of physical bullying or violence against minors in a fight context shared with no caption or a neutral or praising caption

10. Harassment

Policy Rationale

We do not tolerate harassment on Facebook. We want people to feel safe to engage and connect with their community. Our harassment policy applies to both public and private individuals because we want to prevent unwanted or malicious contact on the platform. Context and intent matter, and we allow people to share and re-share posts if it is clear that something was shared in order to condemn or draw attention to harassment. In addition to reporting such behavior and content, we encourage people to use tools available on Facebook to help protect against it.

Do not:

Repeatedly contact a single person despite that person’s clear desire and action to prevent that contact

Repeatedly contact large numbers of people with no prior solicitation

Send messages to any individual that contain: Cursing aimed at an individual or group of individuals in the thread; Calls for death, serious disease or disability, or physical harm aimed at an individual or group of individuals in the thread; Bullying policy violationsClaims that a victim of a violent tragedy is lying about being a victim, acting/pretending to be a victim of a verified event, or otherwise is paid or employed to mislead people about their role in the event when sent directly to a survivor and/or immediate family member of a survivor or victim

Send messages to a group that contain any bullying policy violations, regardless of whether the person being targeted is a public or private individual

Target anyone maliciously, including public figures, by: Attacking them based on their status as a victim of sexual assault or sexual exploitation; Threatening any participant in public discourse with violence in an attempt to intimidate or silence them; Calling for self-injury or suicide of a specific person, or group of people

Target victims or survivors of violent tragedies by name or by image, with claims that they are: Lying about being a victim of an event; Acting/pretending to be a victim of an eventOtherwise paid or employed to mislead people about their role in the event

11. Privacy Violations and Image Privacy Rights

Policy Rationale

Privacy and the protection of personal information are fundamentally important values for Facebook. We work hard to keep your account secure and safeguard your personal information in order to protect you from potential physical or financial harm. You should not post personal or confidential information about others without first getting their consent. We also provide people ways to report imagery that they believe to be in violation of their privacy rights.

Do not post:

Content that facilitates identity theft by posting or soliciting personally identifiable information, including (but not limited to): National identification numbers, Social Security numbers, passport numbers, or exam numbers; Government IDs; School and education IDs featuring two of the following: (1) name, (2) photo, or (3) ID number; Digital identities, including passwords; Medical/psychological, biometric, or genetic details

Content that facilitates identity theft by sharing personally identifiable information via an external link

Content that facilitates identity theft by sharing private financial information of an organization or business

• Content that facilitates identity theft by disclosing the following personal financial information (of either the self or others)

Bank account and/or card information; Financial records paired with account information

Content that facilitates identity theft by sharing the private contact information of others defined as: Private phone numbers or addresses; Email, Messenger, and chat identities; The above information may be shared to promote charitable causes, non-violating services, or to facilitate finding missing people or animals

Except in limited cases of newsworthiness, content claimed or confirmed to come from a hacked source, regardless of whether the affected person is a public figure or a private individual.

Content that identifies individuals by name and depicts their personal information, including: Driver’s licenses, Government IDs other than driver’s licenses, Green Cards, or immigration papers; Marriage, birth, and name change certificates; Digital identities, including passwords; License plates

Content that includes photographs that display the external view of private residences if the following conditions apply: The residence is a single-family home, or the resident’s unit number is identified in the image/captionThe city or neighborhood is identified; A resident is mentioned or depicted; That same resident objects to the exposure of their private residence

Content that exposes the undercover status of law enforcement personnel if: The content contains the agent’s full name or other explicit identification and explicitly mentions their undercover status, or; The content contains images identifying the faces of the law enforcement personnel and explicitly mentions their undercover status

Content that exposes information about safe houses by sharing any of the below, unless the safe house is actively promoting its location, contact information, or the type of service and protection it offers through comments, posts, Pages or Groups: Actual address of the safe house (post box only is allowed); Images of the safe house; Identifiable city/neighborhood of the safe house; or Information outing residents of the safe house

The following content also may be removed

A reported photo or video of people where the person depicted in the image is: A minor under thirteen years old, and the content was reported by the minor or a parent or legal guardian; A minor between thirteen and eighteen years old, and the content was reported by the minor; An adult, where the content was reported by the adult from outside the United States and applicable law may provide rights to removal; Any person who is incapacitated and unable to report the content on their own

Objectionable Content

12. Hate Speech

Policy Rationale

We do not allow hate speech on Facebook because it creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion and in some cases may promote real-world violence.

We define hate speech as a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disability or disease. We also provide some protections for immigration status. We define attack as violent or dehumanizing speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation. We separate attacks into three tiers of severity, as described below.

Sometimes people share content containing someone else’s hate speech for the purpose of raising awareness or educating others. Similarly, in some cases, words or terms that might otherwise violate our standards are used self-referentially or in an empowering way. When this is the case, we allow the content, but we expect people to clearly indicate their intent, which helps us better understand why they shared it. Where the intention is unclear, we may remove the content.

We allow humor and social commentary related to these topics. In addition, we believe that people are more responsible when they share this kind of commentary using their authentic identity.

Click here to read our Hard Questions Blog and learn more about our approach to hate speech.

Do not post:

Tier 1 attacks, which target a person or group of people who share one of the above-listed characteristics or immigration status (including all subsets except those described as having carried out violent crimes or sexual offenses), where attack is defined as

Any violent speech or support for death/disease/harm;

Dehumanizing speech including (but not limited to): Reference or comparison to filth, bacteria, disease, or feces; Reference or comparison to animals that are culturally perceived as intellectually or physically inferior; Reference or comparison to subhumanity; Mocking the concept, events or victims of hate crimes even if no real person is depicted in an image; Designated dehumanizing comparisons in both written and visual form

Tier 2 attacks, which target a person or group of people who share any of the above-listed characteristics, where attack is defined as

Statements of inferiority implying a person’s or a group’s physical, mental, or moral deficiency; Physical (including but not limited to “deformed,” “undeveloped,” “hideous,” “ugly”); Mental (including but not limited to “retarded,” “cretin,” “low IQ,” “stupid,” “idiot”); Moral (including but not limited to “slutty,” “fraud,” “cheap,” “free riders”); Expressions of contempt, including (but not limited to)“I hate”“I don’t like”“X are the worst”; Expressions of disgust, including (but not limited to)“Gross”“Vile”“Disgusting”Cursing at a person or group of people who share protected characteristics

Tier 3 attacks, which are calls to exclude or segregate a person or group of people based on the above-listed characteristics. We do allow criticism of immigration policies and arguments for restricting those policies.

Content that describes or negatively targets people with slurs, where slurs are defined as words commonly used as insulting labels for the above-listed characteristics.

13. Graphic Violence

Policy Rationale

We remove content that glorifies violence or celebrates the suffering or humiliation of others because it may create an environment that discourages participation. We allow graphic content (with some limitations) to help people raise awareness about issues. We know that people value the ability to discuss important issues like human rights abuses or acts of terrorism. We also know that people have different sensitivities with regard to graphic and violent content. For that reason, we add a warning label to especially graphic or violent content so that it is not available to people under the age of eighteen and so that people are aware of the graphic or violent nature before they click to see it.

Do not post:

Imagery of violence committed against real people or animals with comments or captions by the poster that contain: Enjoyment of suffering; Enjoyment of humiliation; Erotic response to suffering; Remarks that speak positively of the violence; or, Remarks indicating the poster is sharing footage for sensational viewing pleasure

Videos of dying, wounded, or dead people if they contain: Dismemberment unless in a medical setting; Visible internal organs; Charred or burning people; Victims of cannibalism

For the following content, we include a warning screen so that people are aware the content may be disturbing. We also limit the ability to view the content to adults, ages eighteen and older: Imagery featuring mutilated people if it contains the following in a medical setting

Dismemberment

Visible internal organs

Charred or burning people

Victims of cannibalism

Throat-slitting

Videos of self-immolation when that action is a form of political speech or newsworthy

Photos of wounded or dead people if they show: Dismemberment; Visible internal organs; Charred or burning peopleVictims of cannibalismThroat-slitting

Imagery featuring animals that shows: Dismemberment; Visible internal organs; Charred or burning animals

Videos of animal abuse, defined as: Repeated kicking or beating of a live animal by a personActs of torture by a person committed against animalsRepeated biting of a live animal by a person for abusive purposesRepeated animal-to-animal biting in staged fightsVideos of animals being killed in a hunting, manufacturing, or food preparation/processing context

Videos that show child abuse, defined as: Repeated kicking, beating, slapping, or stepping on by an adult or animal; Strangling or suffocating by an adult or animal; Drowning by an adult or animal; Biting through skin by an adult or animal; Poisoning by an adult; Forcible restraint by an adultInflicting of burn or cut wounds by an adultForcible smokingTossing, rotating, or shaking of an infant (too young to stand) by their wrists/ankles, arms/legs, or neck

Videos that show the violent death of a person or people by accident or murder when they depict the deceased body

Still images depicting the violent death of a person or people

Videos that show acts of torture committed against a person or people

Videos of physical bullying or violence against minors in a fight context shared with a condemning caption

14. Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity

Policy Rationale

We restrict the display of nudity or sexual activity because some people in our community may be sensitive to this type of content. Additionally, we default to removing sexual imagery to prevent the sharing of non-consensual or underage content. Restrictions on the display of sexual activity also apply to digitally created content unless it is posted for educational, humorous, or satirical purposes.

Our nudity policies have become more nuanced over time. We understand that nudity can be shared for a variety of reasons, including as a form of protest, to raise awareness about a cause, or for educational or medical reasons. Where such intent is clear, we make allowances for the content. For example, while we restrict some images of female breasts that include the nipple, we allow other images, including those depicting acts of protest, women actively engaged in breast-feeding, and photos of post-mastectomy scarring. We also allow photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures.

Do not post:

Images of

Real nude adults, where nudity is defined as: Visible genitalia; Visible anus and/or fully nude close-ups of buttocks unless photoshopped on a public figure; Uncovered female nipples except in the context of breastfeeding, birth giving and after-birth moments, health (for example, post-mastectomy, breast cancer awareness, or gender confirmation surgery), or an act of protest

Sexual activity, including: Sexual intercourse; Explicit sexual intercourse, defined as mouth or genitals entering or in contact with another person’s genitals or anus, where at least one person’s genitals are nude; Implied sexual intercourse, defined as mouth or genitals entering or in contact with another person’s genitals or anus, even when the contact is not directly visible, except in cases of a sexual health context, advertisements, and recognized fictional images or with indicators of fiction

Other sexual activities including (but not limited to): Erections; Presence of by-products of sexual activity; Stimulating genitals or anus, even if above or under clothing; Use of sex toys, even if above or under clothing; Stimulation of naked human nipples; Squeezing naked female breast except in breastfeeding context; Fetish content that involves; Acts that are likely to lead to the death of a person or animal; Dismemberment; Cannibalism; Feces, urine, spit, menstruation, or vomit

Digital content that meets our definition of sexual activity unless any of the following conditions exist: Content was posted in a satirical or humorous context; Content was posted in an educational or scientific context; Imagery is not sufficiently detailed and only body shapes or contours are visible

• Sexually explicit language, defined as description that goes beyond mere mention of: A state of sexual arousal; An act of sexual intercourse unless posted in an attempt at humor or satire, or if educational in nature

15. Cruel and Insensitive

Policy Rationale

We believe that people share and connect more freely when they do not feel targeted based on their vulnerabilities. As such, we have higher expectations for content that we call cruel and insensitive, which we define as content that targets victims of serious physical or emotional harm.

Do not post:

Content that depicts real people and mocks their implied or actual serious physical injuries, disease, or disability, non-consensual sexual touching, or premature death

Integrity and Authenticity

16. Spam

Policy Rationale

We work hard to limit the spread of commercial spam to prevent false advertising, fraud, and security breaches, all of which detract from people’s ability to share and connect. We do not allow people to use misleading or inaccurate information to collect likes, followers, or shares.

Do not:

Artificially increase distribution for financial gain

Create or use fake accounts or compromise other people’s accounts toImpersonate or pretend to be a business, organization, public figure, or private individual

Attempt to create connections, create content, or message people

Restrict access to content by requiring people to like, share, or recommend before viewing

Encourage likes, shares, or clicks under false pretenses

Maliciously use login credentials or personally identifiable information by: Attempting to gather or share login credentials or personally identifiable information; Using another person’s login credentials or personally identifiable information; Promise non-existent Facebook features

17. Misrepresentation

Policy Rationale

Authenticity is the cornerstone of our community. We believe that people are more accountable for their statements and actions when they use their authentic identities. That’s why we require people to connect on Facebook using the name they go by in everyday life. Our authenticity policies are intended to create a safe environment where people can trust and hold one another accountable.

Do not:

Misrepresent your identity by

Using a name that does not abide by our name policies

Providing a false date of birth

Misuse our profiles product by

Creating a profile for someone under thirteen years old

Maintaining multiple accounts

Creating inauthentic profiles

Sharing an account with any other person

Creating another account after being banned from the site

Evading the registration requirements outlined in our Terms of Service

Impersonate others by

Using their images with the explicit aim to deceive people

• Creating a profile assuming the persona of or speaking for another person or entity

• Creating a Page that speaks for another person or entity without authorization when the authorized party objects to the content.

Engage in inauthentic behavior, which includes creating, managing, or otherwise perpetuating

Accounts that are fake

Accounts that have fake names

Accounts that participate in coordinated inauthentic behavior, meaning that multiple accounts are working together to do any of the following: Mislead people about the origin of content; Mislead people about the destination of links off our services (for example, providing a display URL that does not match the destination URL); Mislead people in an attempt to encourage shares, likes, or clicks.

18. False News

Policy Rationale

Reducing the spread of false news on Facebook is a responsibility that we take seriously. We also recognize that this is a challenging and sensitive issue. We want to help people stay informed without stifling productive public discourse. There is also a fine line between false news and satire or opinion. For these reasons, we don’t remove false news from Facebook but instead, significantly reduce its distribution by showing it lower in the News Feed.

We are working to build a more informed community and reduce the spread of false news in a number of different ways, namely by:

Disrupting economic incentives for people, Pages, and domains that propagate misinformation

Using various signals, including feedback from our community, to inform a machine learning model that predicts which stories may be false

Reducing the distribution of content rated as false by independent third-party fact-checkers

Empowering people to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share by informing them with more context and promoting news literacy

Collaborating with academics and other organizations to help solve this challenging issue.

19. Memorialization

Policy Rationale

When we learn that someone has passed away, we memorialize the account by adding “Remembering” above the name on the person’s profile. This makes it clear that the account is now a memorial site and protects against attempted logins and fraudulent activity. We do not remove, update, or change anything about the profile or the account because we want to respect the choices someone made while still alive. We have also made it possible for people to identify a legacy contact to look after their account after they pass away. People can let us know in advance if they want their account permanently deleted when they die. We may delete profiles when the next of kin tells us that the person who passed would have preferred that we delete the account rather than memorialize it. Visit Hard Questions for more information about our memorialization policy and process.

Once we become aware that a person has passed away:

Their account is secured and memorialized by adding “Remembering” above the name on the person’s profile. The profile or account is not updated or otherwise changed in any way

Immediate family members can also request that we remove a loved one’s profile.

Respecting Intellectual Property

20. Intellectual Property

Policy Rationale

Facebook takes intellectual property rights seriously and believes they are important to promoting expression, creativity, and innovation in our community. You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. However, before sharing content on Facebook, please be sure you have the right to do so. We ask that you respect other people’s copyrights, trademarks, and other legal rights. We are committed to helping people and organizations promote and protect their intellectual property rights. Facebook’s Terms of Service do not allow people to post content that violates someone else’s intellectual property rights, including copyright and trademark. We publish information about the intellectual property reports we receive in our bi-annual Transparency Report, which can be accessed at https://transparency.facebook.com/

Upon receipt of a report from a rights holder or an authorized representative, we will remove or restrict content that engages in:

Copyright infringement

Trademark infringement

Content-Related Requests

21. User Requests

We comply with:

User requests for removal of their own account

Requests for removal of a deceased user’s account from a verified immediate family member or executor

Requests for removal of an incapacitated user’s account from an authorized representative.

22. Additional Protection of Minors

We comply with:

Requests for removal of an underage account

Government requests for removal of child abuse imagery depicting, for example, beating by an adult or strangling or suffocating by an adult

Legal guardian requests for removal of attacks on unintentionally famous minors.