Facebook on Thursday announced it would begin testing a new feature designed to show users in greater detail what happens when they flag their “Friends” for posting inappropriate content.
Currently, Facebook allows and relies upon users helping to enforce the website’s “community standards” — no graphic violence, content promoting self-harm, nudity and pornography, among other prohibitions — by encouraging users to click the upper-right hand corner of any post anywhere on Facebook and clicking “Report story or spam.”
After clicking “report” on another user’s content, one can then select exactly what type of inappropriate content they think it is. But after that, users previously had to wait and see whether or not the content would be taken down.
Now, Facebook is giving users who report on their “Friends” and those they subscribe to a way to see just what happened to the complaint about content using a tool called the Support Dashboard.
When users click their “Account Settings” in the upper right hand corner of their page, they will be able to see the “Support Dashboard” button on the left column. Clicking this will bring users to a page listing the complaints they’ve made and a “status” for each, whether it has been received, acted upon or dismissed.
Facebook also said it would provide users “more of an understanding of why action was or was not taken,” explaining:
“Because Facebook is a diverse community, it’s possible that things people post can be disagreeable or disturbing without meeting the criteria for being removed. If the content is not removed, the reporter also has the option to message, unfriend or block the person who posted the content.”
“We are always looking for ways to make reporting easier and more transparent for the people who use Facebook,” said Terry Guo, a Facebook product manager, in an emailed statement to TPM. “Through these vital reports, people help us effectively take down content that is against our policies. That is why we are excited to launch this feature that will enable people to track their reports and inform them when action is taken. The hope is that the Support Dashboard will provide greater clarity and accountability to our processes.”
The new tool is timely, coming as it does after Facebook came under fire from ABC News for erroneously taking down the photos of a 7-year-old child with Down Syndrome participating in a Special Olympics event. Facebook later apologized for the error.