In a shocking update to its Community Standards, Facebook has said that calls for “high-severity violence” and “threats that could lead to death” are acceptable if they’re aimed at people who it deems to be “dangerous individuals.”
Calls to violence are illegal in most western countries and Facebook often classifies people as “dangerous individuals” without providing any evidence of them exhibiting dangerous behavior or breaking Facebook’s rules.
Facebook’s updated Community Standards on violence and incitement state:
“Do not post:
Threats that could lead to death (and other forms of high-severity violence) of any target(s), where threat is defined as any of the following:
- Statements of intent to commit high-severity violence
- Calls for high-severity violence (unless the target is an organization or individual covered in the Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Policy)
- Including content where no target is specified but a symbol represents the target and/or includes a visual of an armament to represent violence
- Statements advocating for high-severity violence (unless the target is an organization or individual covered in the Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Policy)
- Aspirational or conditional statements to commit high-severity violence (unless the target is an organization or individual covered in the Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Policy)”
According to Facebook, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, Infowars host Alex Jones, Infowars editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson, independent journalist Laura Loomer, and political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos are considered “dangerous individuals.” Calls to violence and threats of violence are illegal in the countries where these supposedly “dangerous individuals” live but Facebook seems to be showing a complete disregard for the law by saying threatening these people with violence is acceptable in this Community Standards update.
Facebook’s recent policy updates have been getting incredibly creepy with the company rolling out an Orwellian artificial intelligence (AI) that warns Instagram users about potentially offensive comments and maintaining a list of people that it considers to be “hate agents.” However, now the company has crossed the line and gone from being creepy to openly sanctioning illegal and violent activity.
Update – July 10, 2019: Facebook has deleted its policy allowing “threats that could lead to death” if they’re against designated “Dangerous Individuals.”