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Facebook blocks nudity but allows gore

social-media Updated: Feb 22, 2012 20:25 IST

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The rules Facebook uses to decide whether to censor users’ postings has been published for the first time which shows the social networking giant blocks mild nudity, but allows images of death and disfigurement.

A former employee who used to filter out offensive content on Facebook has leaked the website''s secret rulebook detailing its more liberal attitude to gore than to nudity.

According to The Daily Mail, an aggrieved Moroccan worker who was paid a mere 1 dollar an hour by oDesk, a third-party content-moderation firm used by Facebook, revealed that the site tells them to delete “any OBVIOUS sexual activity, even if naked parts are hidden from view”.

But “deep flesh wounds are ok to show; excessive blood is ok to show” and “crushed heads, limbs, etc are ok as long as no insides are showing”.

The staff working for oDesk are also instructed that Facebook will not condone ‘slurs or racial comments of any kind’, and that any such comments should be deleted as soon as possible. However, they should be allowed to stay online if the comments are made in a humourous or ironic way.

The rules are used by the third party firm to screen photographs, text and videos that have been “flagged” by one of Facebook’s 850 million users.

According to the report, versus photos, where users are asked to rate photos of people set side-by-side, are also prohibited, as are pictures of unconscious or sleeping drunk people with ''things drawn on their faces''.

Yet it is acceptable to leave up footage of children physically assaulting each other at school, unless ‘the video has been posted to continue tormenting the person targeted in the video’.

California-based oDesk was launched full-scale in 2005 by co-founders Odysseas Tsatalos and Stratis Karamanlakis.

It provides content moderation services to Google and Facebook, Wikipedia and AOL.

A team of about 50 people from all over the third world, India, Turkey, Mexico and the Philippines, work to moderate Facebook content.