Policy details

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Policy Rationale

We believe that people use their voice and connect more freely when they don’t feel attacked on the basis of who they are. That is why we don’t allow hate speech on Facebook, Instagram, or Threads. It creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion, and in some cases may promote offline violence.

We define hate speech as direct attacks against people — rather than concepts or institutions— on the basis of what we call protected characteristics (PCs): race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, and serious disease. Additionally, we consider age a protected characteristic when referenced along with another protected characteristic. We also protect refugees, migrants, immigrants, and asylum seekers from the most severe attacks, though we do allow commentary on and criticism of immigration policies. Similarly, we provide some protections for non- protected characteristics, such as occupation, when they are referenced along with a protected characteristic. Sometimes, based on local nuance, we consider certain words or phrases as frequently used proxies for PC groups.

We define a hate speech attack as dehumanizing speech; statements of inferiority, expressions of contempt or disgust; cursing; and calls for exclusion or segregation. We also prohibit the use of harmful stereotypes, which we define as dehumanizing comparisons that have historically been used to attack, intimidate, or exclude specific groups, and that are often linked with offline violence. We also prohibit the usage of slurs that are used to attack people on the basis of their protected characteristics. Attacks are separated into two tiers of severity, described below.

We have additional restrictions for paid content.

However, we recognize that people sometimes share content that includes slurs or someone else’s hate speech in order to condemn the speech or report on it. In other cases, speech, including slurs, that might otherwise violate our standards is used self-referentially or in an empowering way. People also sometimes express contempt or curse at a gender in the context of a romantic break-up. Other times, they use gender-exclusive language to control membership in a health or positive support group, such as a breastfeeding group for women only. Our policies are designed to allow room for these types of speech but require people to clearly indicate their intent. Where intention is unclear, we may remove content.

Note: Violent speech targeting people on the basis of their protected characteristics is covered in our Violence and Incitement Policy.

Learn more about our approach to hate speech.

Do not post:

Tier 1

Content targeting a person or group of people (including all groups except those who are considered non-protected groups described as having carried out violent crimes or sexual offenses or representing less than half of a group) on the basis of their aforementioned protected characteristic(s) or immigration status in written or visual form with:

  • Dehumanizing speech in the form of comparisons to or generalizations about:
  • Animals and pathogens
  • Insects (including but not limited to: cockroaches, locusts)
  • Animals in general or specific types of animals that are culturally perceived as inferior (including but not limited to: Black people and apes or ape-like creatures; Jewish people and rats; Muslim people and pigs; Mexican people and worms)
  • Certain Inanimate Objects and Non-Human States:
  • Certain objects (women as household objects or property or objects in general; Black people as farm equipment; transgender or non-binary people as “it”)
  • Feces (including but not limited to: shit, crap)
  • Filth (including but not limited to: dirt, grime, or saying "[protected characteristic or quasi-protected characteristic] has bad hygiene")
  • Bacteria, viruses, or microbes
  • Disease (including but not limited to: cancer, sexually transmitted diseases)
  • Subhumanity (including but not limited to: savages, devils, monsters, primitives)
  • Criminals
  • Sexual predators (including but not limited to: Muslim people having sex with goats or pigs)
  • Violent criminals (including but not limited to: terrorists, murderers, members of hate or criminal organizations)
  • Other criminals (including but not limited to “thieves,” “bank robbers,” or saying “All [protected characteristic or quasi-protected characteristic] are ‘criminals’”).
  • Statements in the form of calls for action or statements of intent to inflict, aspirational or conditional statements about, or statements advocating or supporting harm in the following ways:
  • In favor of contracting a disease
  • In favor of experiencing a natural disaster
  • Calls for self-injury or suicide
  • Calls for death without a perpetrator or method
  • Calls for accidents and other physical harms caused either by no perpetrator or by a deity
  • Statements denying existence (including but not limited to: "[protected characteristic(s) or quasi-protected characteristic] do not exist", "no such thing as [protected charactic(s) or quasi-protected characteristic]" or “[protected characteristic(s) or quasi-protected characteristic] shouldn’t exist”)
  • Harmful stereotypes historically linked to intimidation, exclusion, or violence on the basis of a protected characteristic, such as Blackface; Holocaust denial; claims that Jewish people control financial, political, or media institutions; and references to Dalits as menial laborers
  • Mocking the concept, events or victims of hate crimes even if no real person is depicted in an image.
  • Mocking people on the basis of their Protected Characteristics or Quasi-Protected Characteristics for having or experiencing a disease.
  • Content that describes or negatively targets people with slurs, where slurs are defined as words that inherently create an atmosphere of exclusion and intimidation against people on the basis of a protected characteristic, often because these words are tied to historical discrimination, oppression, and violence. They do this even when targeting someone who is not a member of the PC group that the slur inherently targets.

Tier 2

Content targeting a person or group of people on the basis of their protected characteristic(s) (in written or visual form):

  • Generalizations that state inferiority in the following ways:
    • Physical appearance, including but not limited to: ugly, hideous.
    • Mental characteristics are defined as those about:
      • Intellectual capacity, including but not limited to: dumb, stupid, idiots.
      • Education, including but not limited to: illiterate, uneducated.
      • Mental health, including but not limited to: mentally ill, retarded, crazy, insane.
    • Moral characteristics are defined as those about:
      • Character traits culturally perceived as negative, including but not limited to: coward, liar, arrogant, ignorant.
      • Derogatory terms related to sexual activity, including but not limited to: whore, slut, perverts.
  • Other statements of inferiority, which we define as:
    • Expressions about being less than adequate, including but not limited to: worthless, useless.
    • Expressions about being better/worse than another protected characteristic, including but not limited to: "I believe that males are superior to females."
    • Expressions about deviating from the norm, including but not limited to: freaks, abnormal.
  • Expressions of contempt, except in a romantic break-up context, and disgust, which we define as:
    • Self-admission to intolerance on the basis of a protected characteristics, including but not limited to: homophobic, islamophobic, racist.
    • Expressions of hate, including but not limited to: "I despise","I hate", " I can't stand".
    • Expressions of dismissal, including but not limited to: "I don´t respect", "I don't like", " I don´t care for"
    • Expressions that suggest the target causes sickness, including but not limited to: vomit, throw up.
    • Expressions of repulsion or distaste, including but not limited to: vile, disgusting, yuck.
  • Targeted cursing, except certain gender-based cursing in a romantic break-up context, defined as:
    • Referring to the target as genitalia or anus, including but not limited to: cunt, dick, asshole.
    • Profane terms or phrases or other curses with the intent to insult, including but not limited to: fuck, bitch, motherfucker.
    • Terms or phrases calling for engagement in sexual activity, or contact with genitalia, anus, feces or urine, including but not limited to: suck my dick, kiss my ass, eat shit.

  • Exclusion or segregation in the form of calls for action, statements of intent, aspirational or conditional statements, or statements advocating or supporting defined as:
  • Explicit exclusion, which means things like expelling certain groups or saying they are not allowed or segregation.
  • Political exclusion, which means denying the right to political participation.
  • Economic exclusion, which means denying access to economic entitlements and limiting participation in the labor market.
  • Social exclusion, which means things like denying access to spaces (physical and online)and social services, except for gender-based exclusion in health and positive support Groups.
For the following Community Standards, we require additional information and/or context to enforce:

Do not post:

  • Content explicitly providing or offering to provide products or services that aim to change people’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Content attacking concepts, institutions, ideas, practices, or beliefs associated with protected characteristics, which are likely to contribute to imminent physical harm, intimidation or discrimination against the people associated with that protected characteristic. Meta looks at a range of signs to determine whether there is a threat of harm in the content. These include but are not limited to: content that could incite imminent violence or intimidation; whether there is a period of heightened tension such as an election or ongoing conflict; and whether there is a recent history of violence against the targeted protected group. In some cases, we may also consider whether the speaker is a public figure or occupies a position of authority.
  • Content targeting a person or group of people on the basis of their protected characteristic(s) with claims that they have or spread the novel coronavirus, are responsible for the existence of the novel coronavirus, are deliberately spreading the novel coronavirus.

In certain cases, we will allow content that may otherwise violate the Community Standards when it is determined that the content is satirical. Content will only be allowed if the violating elements of the content are being satirized or attributed to something or someone else in order to mock or criticize them.

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 hate speech

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