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Zuck: Get your FULLY EXPOSED BUTTOCKS off my Facebook

Community standards? We've heard of 'em

Mark Zuckerberg apparently "goes to great lengths to protect the privacy of his personal life", but it hasn't stopped the Facebook chief from encouraging the free content ad network's users to share more stuff online.

Late on Sunday the company's boss confirmed that Facebook had slightly modified the wording of its guidelines for the site and app to supposedly make its community standards clearer.

Zuck took the opportunity to share Facebook's "philosophy" on giving "people the power to share and to make the world more open and connected" – the timing for which some might argue was a little poor, given the 30-year-old billionaire's current legal spat with a property developer.

He added: "We exist to give you a voice to share what matters to you – from photos of your family to opinions about the world. We believe the better you can share and connect, the more progress society will make."

It's important to note that Facebook's policies and standards haven't changed, however.

Like Google, Facebook doesn't want to be labelled as a publisher because it would then be required to properly police its site to weed out libellous content and copyrighted material.

Today's update, as Zuck characterised it, in fact simply reinforced to Facebook users (sorry, people) that they are expected, in most cases, to flag up abusive posts before the firm intervenes. The company said:

Today we are providing more detail and clarity on what is and is not allowed. For example, what exactly do we mean by nudity, or what do we mean by hate speech?

While our policies and standards themselves are not changing, we have heard from people that it would be helpful to provide more clarity and examples, so we are doing so with today’s update.

Yup, Facebook is still largely relying on the wisdom of the crowd to crack down on bullies and wrongdoers.

Facebook – keen to keep its ad customers happy – does actively remove "photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks". The firm has also stated that its policy can sometimes be a bit "blunt" when it comes to stripping pics of nipples from the site, for example.

The same community standards, however, wave through the sale of firearms, tobacco, booze and adult content via Facebook.

Zuck, whose company released its latest Global Government Requests Report today, said:

We fight to protect our community from unnecessary or overreaching government intervention. Facebook is a new kind of service, so we often face regulations that have little precedent. We push back to make sure we only comply with government demands when they're lawful and necessary.

If we have to block something prohibited in one country, we generally try to leave it unblocked for the rest of the world so that limitations on sharing and voice are minimised.

Facebook said that requests for access to account data from governments were relatively flat at 35,051 during the second half of 2014, of which 9,707 pieces of content were restricted.

In the first six months of last year, the firm received 34,946 such requests around the globe and severed access to 8,774 posts. What these figures show is that the company has become even more compliant with government takedown requests. ®

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