What Are Facebook’s Community Standards?

Facebook is a large and complicated system with a number of markers built in to the AI that identify content that isn’t allowed according to their community standards. Some of these will get you put in jail, and others will trigger them to review and possibly shut down your account.

In an earlier post, I talked about the things that will get you put into Facebook Jail, but today we’re going to talk about content that is prohibited on the platform altogether.

Categories of prohibited content

Facebook breaks down the types of unacceptable posts and content into six different categories, including:

  1. Violence and Criminal Behavior
  2. Safety
  3. Objectionable Content
  4. Integrity and Authenticity
  5. Respecting Intellectual Property
  6. Content-Related Requests

You can review the full community standards document here.

Subcategories of unallowable content

Most of these are going to be fairly simple to avoid, but there are a few key articles that will impact your business. They’re bolded in the list below and I’ve provided some additional clarification for why they don’t allow it, and how you can mitigate it.

  • Threats or coordination of violence against people or groups
  • Organizations devoted to terrorist activity, hate, mass or serial murder, human trafficking, organized violence or criminal activity or their prominent members.
  • Promoting, advocating, or publicizing crime for the purpose of glorification
  • Purchase, sell, or trade, non-medical drugs including pharmaceuticals and marijuana.
    • If you work for an MLM company that sells supplements, then you are not allowed to advertise your product online directly. If you do sell any sort of supplements I recommend making your business about overall health and wellness first, and direct your customers to a website that provides further details and value information.
  • Adult content, including nudity and sexually explicit content.
  • Bullying or Harassment designed to target victims of serious harm.
  • Hate Speech
  • Graphic and violent content that glorifies child abuse, death and dismemberment, or bodily injury.
  • Spam, false advertising, and fraud
    • If you’re sending a lot of messages that start off by advertising your product, sharing an opportunity, or inviting people to your new business, that’s considered SPAM. Begin conversations with genuine interest in another person, get to know them, and keep an eye out for opportunities for providing value, not selling. The sales will come, but not at the pace that perhaps you would like.
  • Misrepresenting yourself – which essentially amounts to identity theft
  • Fake News
  • Intellectual property
  • Human Trafficking
  • Sexual exploitation of children
  • Selling of firearms, their component parts, or any ammunition between users.
  • Any content that identifies or targets victims or survivors of self-injury including suicide attempts, self-mutilation, and eating disorders. (Facebook’s resources for this group
  • Violating the privacy of any vulnerable individual
  • Material that incites violence
  • Personal Attributes
    • If you’re posting before and after pictures on your business page, or sharing how you lost weight as a business owner, then often this can fall under that rule. This is allowable on general posts in your group and personal pages but you cannot promote your business with this content.
  • Controversial Content (Updated for Covid-19)
    • This is especially important for boutique owners who are branching out to selling face masks and hand sanitizer. Facebook does not allow this kind of content anywhere on the site. Promoting this content to sell puts you at very high risk of being flagged. The consequences for this can start from simply having the post removed to losing your account for repeat offenses. If you do promote this kind of content, I recommend keeping it off the platform and in your email or shopping site.

Let me know what you think!

Did you know you can comment as your Business Page or yourself? When you do, it will automatically put your comment in your feed as a post! A quick and easy way to get content for your audience.