Facebook to remove all content that could result in 'real physical harm'

With over 200 million users in India, Zuckerberg said the company has a “big focus” on security ahead of the 2019 elections

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 20, 2018 2:02 PM

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the company is going to be “strict” in removing false news and, going forward, will remove all content that could result in “real physical harm” or is “attacking individuals”.

India is Facebook’s biggest user base with over 200 million users. Zuckerberg said the company has a “big focus” on security ahead of the 2019 elections in India.

“The principles that we have on what we remove from the service are: If it’s going to result in real harm, real physical harm, or if you are attacking individuals, then that content shouldn’t be on the platform. There’s a lot of categories of that, which we can get into, but then there’s broad debate,” said Zuckerberg in an interview with technology news website Recode.

The social media giant has been in the news for ‘objectionable’ posts and has been accused of fuelling violence in countries like Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India. The new policy is a reaction to the rumours that spread on Facebook which led to violence against ethnic minorities.

“The approach that we have taken to false news is not to say, you can’t say something wrong on the internet. I think that would be too extreme… We look at the things that are getting the most distribution. If people flag them as potential hoaxes, we send those to fact-checkers who... say that it is provably false, then we will significantly reduce the distribution of that content,” explained Zuckerberg.

In India, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is used as a medium to disseminate false information. Since May last year, false news on WhatsApp has resulted in the death of over 29 people, a majority of them were lynched to death. However, the policy change would not apply on WhatsApp.

“We are very focused on making sure that we get this right, not just broadly, but in all the elections that are coming up… You have India (elections) coming up at the beginning of next year. There’s an assortment of elections around the EU. We are very serious about this. We know that we need to get this right. We take that responsibility very seriously,” said Zuckerberg.

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