Daily Archives: February 22, 2012

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Disgruntled Facebook Employee Leaks Censorship Guidelines.

The weird and wonderful world of Facebook’s censorship guidelines has been laid bare for all to see by a disgruntled ex-employee.

A document released by outsourcing company oDesk to the Gawker website reveals an interesting glimpse into the meticulous approach the social media giant takes in deciding which content is appropriate for its site.

The 13-page “Abuse Standards Violations” manual was used by workers to police posts and images on Facebook, and appears to take a more liberal approach to gore, while nudity is a big no-no.

The hit-list included: images of breastfeeding if nipples are exposed, images of drunk or unconscious people, people “using the bathroom”, racial comments, anyone who shows “approval, delight, involvement etc. in animal or human torture”, obvious sexual activity and “sexual fetishes in any form”, even if “naked parts” are hidden, reported the Guardian.

More surprisingly, perhaps, was the list of images which were allowed. Images of bodily fluids – except semen – are acceptable provided no human is also in the picture, “deep flesh wounds” and “crushed heads, limbs” are also acceptable “as long as no insides are showing”, and images of people using marijuana are OK, too.

In response to the leak, a Facebook spokesperson said: “In an effort to quickly and efficiently process the millions of reports we receive every day, we have found it helpful to contract third parties to provide precursory classification of a small proportion of reported content.

“These contractors are subject to rigorous quality controls and we have implemented several layers of safeguards to protect the data of those using our service. Additionally, no user information beyond the content in question and the source of the report is shared. We have, and will continue, to escalate the most serious reports internally, and all decisions made by contractors are subject to extensive audits.

“We are constantly improving our processes and review our contractors on an ongoing basis. This document provides a snapshot in time of our standards with regards to one of those contractors.”

The leak came from 21-year-old oDesk employee, Amine Derkaoui, who said he was paid only $1 (63p) per hour to trawl through reported images and content and decide if they should be removed from the site.  Source: L. Boyd Medina for bigmouthmedia

Coming Soon: ‘99% Spring’ ~Brought To You Courtesy Of The UAW.

From April 9 to 15, “100,000 Americans will train for non-violent direct action,” promises a new website called “The 99% Spring.” But while the 43 organizations co-signing a letter on the ragtag-looking site indicate the sort of leaderless resistance characterized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, a series of files The Daily Caller downloaded from the United Auto Workers website indicate that the organized labor powerhouse is behind the effort.

The files, downloaded Sunday, include campaign talking points, a fill-in-the-blank press release template for participating organizations and an advance look at the social media campaign the organizers plan for Facebook and Twitter.

Also included is a “FYI” letter designed for endorsers to distribute, complete with a blank space at the top of the list of participating groups. Filling in a given organization’s name lends the impression that it, not the UAW, is the campaign’s driving force.

A Google cache indicates that the files were available on an unprotected area of the UAW’s web server at least as early as February 16. They disappeared from public view Monday.

“The 99% Spring” name evokes the Occupy Wall Street movement, with its repeated division of Americans into the wealthy “1%” and the poorer “99%.”

UAW president Bob King endorsed the new campaign but has given no public indication that his union is behind it, or that the UAW is ready to publicly embrace the Occupy Wall Street movement’s “99%” rhetoric.

King, however, is decidedly in the figurative 1%. According to the Center for Union Facts, a non-profit organization that tracks organized labor through government documents, he earns $168,073 in salary and benefits. Source:  Associated Press.

 

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