Policy details

Change log

CHANGE LOG

Change log

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Policy Rationale

Bullying and harassment happen in many places and come in many different forms from making threats and releasing personally identifiable information to sending threatening messages and making unwanted malicious contact. We do not tolerate this kind of behavior because it prevents people from feeling safe and respected on Facebook, Instagram, and Threads.

We distinguish between public figures and private individuals because we want to allow discussion, which often includes critical commentary of people who are featured in the news or who have a large public audience. For public figures, we remove attacks that are severe as well as certain attacks where the public figure is directly tagged in the post or comment. We define public figures as state and national level government officials, political candidates for those offices, people with over one million fans or followers on social media and people who receive substantial news coverage.

For private individuals, our protection goes further: We remove content that's meant to degrade or shame, including, for example, claims about someone's sexual activity. We recognize that bullying and harassment can have more of an emotional impact on minors, which is why our policies provide heightened protection for anyone under the age 18, regardless of user status.

Context and intent matter, and we allow people to post and share if it is clear that something was shared in order to condemn or draw attention to bullying and harassment. In certain instances, we require self-reporting because it helps us understand that the person targeted feels bullied or harassed. In addition to reporting such behavior and content, we encourage people to use tools available on our platforms to help protect against it.

We also have a Bullying Prevention Hub, which is a resource for teens, parents, and educators seeking support for issues related to bullying and other conflicts. It offers step-by-step guidance, including information on how to start important conversations about bullying. Learn more about what we are doing to protect people from bullying and harassment here.

Note: This policy does not apply to individuals who are part of designated organizations under the Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy or individuals who died prior to 1900.

Tier 1: Universal protections for everyone:

  • Everyone is protected from:
    • Unwanted contact that is:
      • Repeated, OR
      • Sexually harassing, OR
      • Is directed at a large number of individuals with no prior solicitation.
    • Calls for self-injury or suicide of a specific person, or group of individuals.
    • Attacks based on their experience of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, or domestic abuse.
    • Statements of intent to engage in a sexual activity or advocating to engage in a sexual activity.
    • Severe sexualized commentary.
    • Derogatory sexualized photoshop or drawings
    • Attacks through derogatory terms related to sexual activity (for example: whore, slut).
    • Claims that a violent tragedy did not occur.
    • Claims that individuals are lying about being a victim of a violent tragedy or terrorist attack, including claims that they are:
      • Acting or pretending to be a victim of a specific event, or
      • Paid or employed to mislead people about their role in the event.
  • Threats to release an individual's private phone number, residential address, email address or medical records (as defined in the Privacy Violations policy).
  • Calls for, or statements of intent to engage in, bullying and/or harassment.
  • Content that degrades or expresses disgust toward individuals who are depicted in the process of, or right after, menstruating, urinating, vomiting, or defecating
  • Everyone is protected from the following, but for adult public figures, they must be purposefully exposed to:
    • Calls for death and statements in favor of contracting or developing a medical condition.
    • Celebration or mocking of death or medical condition.
    • Claims about sexually transmitted infections.
    • Derogatory terms related to female gendered cursing.
    • Statements of inferiority about physical appearance.

Tier 2: Additional protections for all Minors, Private Adults and Limited Scope Public Figures (for example, individuals whose primary fame is limited to their activism, journalism, or those who become famous through involuntary means):

  • In addition to the universal protections for everyone, all minors (private individuals and public figures), private adults and limited scope public figures are protected from:
    • Claims about sexual activity, except in the context of criminal allegations against adults (non-consensual sexual touching).
    • Content sexualizing another adult (sexualization of minors is covered in the Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Nudity policy).
  • All minors (private individuals and public figures), private adults and limited scope public figures) are protected from the following, but for minor public figures, they must be purposefully exposed to:
    • Dehumanizing comparisons (in written or visual form) to or about:
      • Animals and insects, including subhuman creatures, that are culturally perceived as inferior.
      • Bacteria, viruses, microbes, and diseases.
      • Inanimate objects, including trash, filth, feces.
  • Content manipulated to highlight, circle, or otherwise negatively draw attention to specific physical characteristics (nose, ear, and so on).
  • Content that ranks them based on physical appearance or character traits.
  • Content that degrades individuals who are depicted being physically bullied (except in self-defense and fight-sport contexts).

Tier 3: Additional protections for Private Minors, Private Adults, and Minor Involuntary Public Figures:

  • In addition to all the protections listed above, all private minors, private adults (who must self-report), and minor involuntary public figures are protected from:
    • Targeted cursing.
    • Claims about romantic involvement, sexual orientation or gender identity.
    • Calls for action, statements of intent, aspirational or conditional statements, or statements advocating or supporting exclusion.
    • Negative character or ability claims, except in the context of criminal allegations and business reviews against adults.
    • Expressions of contempt, disgust, or content rejecting the existence of an individual, except in the context of criminal allegations against adults.
  • When self-reported, private minors, private adults, and minor involuntary public figures are protected from the following:
    • First-person voice bullying.
    • Unwanted manipulated imagery.
    • Comparison to other public, fictional or private individuals on the basis of physical appearance.
    • Claims about religious identity or blasphemy
    • Comparisons to animals or insects that are not culturally perceived as intellectually or physically inferior (“tiger," “lion").
    • Neutral or positive physical descriptions.
    • Non-negative character or ability claims.
    • Attacks through derogatory terms related to a lack of sexual activity.

Tier 4: Additional protections for Private Minors only:

  • Minors get the most protection under our policy. In addition to all the protections listed above, private minors are also protected from:
    • Allegations about criminal or illegal behavior.
    • Videos of physical bullying against minors, shared in a non-condemning context.
    • Videos of physical bullying against minors, shared in a condemning context, where we add a cover so people can choose whether to see it.

Bullying and harassment through pages, groups, events and messages

  • The protections of Tiers 1 through 4 are also enforced on pages, groups, events and messages.

For the following Community Standards, we require additional information and/or context to enforce:

Do not:

  • Post content that targets private individuals through unwanted Pages, Groups and Events. We remove this content when it is reported by the target or an authorized representative of the target.
  • Post content described above that would otherwise require the target to report the content or where the content an indicates that the poster is directly targeting the target (for example: the target is tagged in the post or comment). We will remove this content if we have confirmation from the target or an authorized representative of the target (alive or deceased) that the content is unwanted.
  • Post content calling for or stating an intent to engage in behavior that would qualify as bullying and harassment under our policies. We will remove this content when we have confirmation from the target or an authorized representative of the target that the content is unwanted.
  • Post content sexualizing a public figure. We will remove this content when we have confirmation from the target or an authorized representative of the target that the content is unwanted.
  • Initiate contact that is sexually harassing the recipient. We will remove any content shared in an unwanted context when we have a confirmation from the recipient, or an authorized representative of the recipient that contact is unwanted.
  • Remove directed mass harassment, when:
    • Targeting, via any surface, ‘individuals at heightened risk of offline harm’, defined as:
      • Human rights defenders
      • Minors
      • Victims of violent events/tragedies
      • Opposition figures in at-risk countries during election periods
      • Election officials
      • Government dissidents who have been targeted based on their dissident status
      • Ethnic and religious minorities in conflict zones
      • Member of a designated and recognizable at-risk group
    • Targeting any individual via personal surfaces, such as inbox or profiles, with:
      • Content that violates the bullying and harassment policies for private individuals or,
      • Objectionable content that is based on a protected characteristic
  • Disable accounts engaged in mass harassment as part of either
    • State or state-affiliated networks targeting any individual via any surface.
    • Adversarial networks targeting any individual via any surface with:
      • Content that violates the bullying and harassment policies for private individuals or,
      • Content that targets them based on a protected characteristic, or,
      • Content or behavior otherwise deemed to be objectionable in local context
User experiences

See some examples of what enforcement looks like for people on Facebook, such as: what it looks like to report something you don’t think should be on Facebook, to be told you’ve violated our Community Standards and to see a warning screen over certain content.

Note: We’re always improving, so what you see here may be slightly outdated compared to what we currently use.

Data
Prevalence

Percentage of times people saw violating content

Content actioned

Number of pieces of violating content we took action on

Proactive rate

Percentage of violating content we found before people reported it

Appealed content

Number of pieces of content people appealed after we took action on it

Restored content

Number of pieces of content we restored after we originally took action on it

Prevalence

Percentage of times people saw violating content

Content actioned

Number of pieces of violating content we took action on

Proactive rate

Percentage of violating content we found before people reported it

Appealed content

Number of pieces of content people appealed after we took action on it

Restored content

Number of pieces of content we restored after we originally took action on it

Reporting
1
Universal entry point

We have an option to report, whether it’s on a post, a comment, a story, a message or something else.

2
Get started

We help people report things that they don’t think should be on our platform.

3
Select a problem

We ask people to tell us more about what’s wrong. This helps us send the report to the right place.

4
Check your report

Make sure the details are correct before you click Submit. It’s important that the problem selected truly reflects what was posted.

5
Report submitted

After these steps, we submit the report. We also lay out what people should expect next.

6
More options

We remove things if they go against our Community Standards, but you can also Unfollow, Block or Unfriend to avoid seeing posts in future.

Post-report communication
1
Update via notifications

After we’ve reviewed the report, we’ll send the reporting user a notification.

2
More detail in the Support Inbox

We’ll share more details about our review decision in the Support Inbox. We’ll notify people that this information is there and send them a link to it.

3
Appeal option

If people think we got the decision wrong, they can request another review.

4
Post-appeal communication

We’ll send a final response after we’ve re-reviewed the content, again to the Support Inbox.

Takedown experience
1
Immediate notification

When someone posts something that doesn't follow our rules, we’ll tell them.

2
Additional context

We’ll also address common misperceptions and explain why we made the decision to enforce.

3
Policy Explanation

We’ll give people easy-to-understand explanations about the relevant rule.

4
Option for review

If people disagree with the decision, they can ask for another review and provide more information.

5
Final decision

We set expectations about what will happen after the review has been submitted.

Warning screens
1
Warning screens in context

We cover certain content in News Feed and other surfaces, so people can choose whether to see it.

2
More information

In this example, we give more context on why we’ve covered the photo with more context from independent fact-checkers

Enforcement

We have the same policies around the world, for everyone on Facebook.

Review teams

Our global team of over 15,000 reviewers work every day to keep people on Facebook safe.

Stakeholder engagement

Outside experts, academics, NGOs and policymakers help inform the Facebook Community Standards.

Get help with bullying and harassment

Learn what you can do if you see something on Facebook that goes against our Community Standards.