Facebook’s New Community Standards Allow Death Threats for “Dangerous Individuals”

Facebook’s community standards have always been something that people have complained about. A recent change to the community standards at first looks like a step in the right direction, although some people might take offense at some of the language that has been used in these community standards.

The new additions to the community standards are primarily meant to prevent users from making death threats or any other kinds of statements that could incite violence against a particular individual. This is a welcome measure giving how out of hands things often get with people posting on Facebook, but there is an additional clause that some people are finding to be curious, with certain individuals even finding it to be unlawful.

This additional clause states that death threats, incitements to violence and other statements of this nature are allowed against individuals that are proven to have committed crimes of violence, sexual abuse, or are known to display predatory behavior. The criteria for labelling someone as deserving of a death threat is apparently “market knowledge of news events”, which means that if mainstream media has labelled an individual as dangerous, violent or a predator then Facebook will allow users to make death threats against such an individual.

Some may argue that this is a violation of people’s rights and that it might turn Facebook into a sort of public court where Facebook users would serve as judge, jury and executioner. Others would argue that predators and violent criminals are exempt from this protection because their actions have made them forfeit the right to such protection. Whatever side you are on, this clause is certainly a controversial one.

Screenshot of Facebook’s updated community standards
Screenshot: Digital Information World

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