Rohypnol, rape and other disturbing content. Isn't it about time Facebook cleaned up its act?

Filed Under: Facebook, Featured, Law & order, Privacy

Facebook Abuse"People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them."

Those are the words of Facebook itself. And there's nothing wrong with that.

But, unfortunately, it doesn't tell the whole story.

There are also people who use Facebook to bully others, to spread hate speech, to defraud, spam, and commit online crimes.

In October 2012, when Facebook reached one billion active monthly users, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was "committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you".

If compared to the populations of countries, Facebook's more than a billion users dwarfs the likes of the United States, Indonesia and Brazil and is only outranked by China and India. In short, Facebook is colossal.

But what marks out Facebook for special attention is how it polices those many many millions of people.

A quick search on Facebook, using the most obvious of search terms, finds plenty of ghastly content that many good-minded people would find disturbing.

I'm not talking about Facebook pages like "Embarrassing Nightclub Photos", whose whole raison d'être appears to be to humiliate "tired-and-emotional" party-goers - many of whom probably wouldn't have given permission for a photograph of them to be shared on Facebook, if anyone had bothered to ask.

Embarrassing Nightclub Photos on Facebook

"Embarrassing Nightclub Photos" isn't my cup of tea, but clearly there's an audience for this kind of material (the page has over 160,000 Likes) who have no qualms about checking out and sharing images of people unconscious through over-drinking, who are so drunk they've become incontinent, or have been snapped midway through a vomit.

What is more disturbing to me are pages which take things a sinister step further.

For instance, there are pages extolling the virtues of the date-rape drug Rohypnol which use images of young women in either a drunken or comatose state.

In the following, and other examples used in this article, we have pixellated out the faces of individuals - something which the original posters on Facebook seemingly didn't care enough to do.

Rohypnol image 2

ROHYPHNOL

When traditional dating methods just aren't cutting it!

Is that a funny joke to you? An ill-conceived bad taste joke about rape? Or something more sinister? No doubt, you have your own point of view, and whether Facebook should do more to prevent this kind of content from being shared.

In case you forgot, here's how Facebook describes what it is used for:

"People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them."

One wonders how that sentiment sits alongside the "Roofies" page on Facebook, which has over 650 Likes, and a motto which appears to condone use of the Rohypnol date rape drug.

"Roofies", for the uninitiated, is slang for Rohypnol and other sedative pills that can be used to facilitiate sexual abuse.

Roofies page extolling rohypnol

ROHYPNOL ROOFIES When "Nooosshh..zzzzz means "Yes"

Pretty unsavoury stuff, I'm sure many of you'll agree. And there are plenty of other posts on the page which can only be described as pro-rape and against a woman's right to decide if she wants to have sex or not.

Posts on Roofies Facebook page

And there's more. A simple search of Facebook using offensive phrases can bring up no end of unpleasantness.

Offensive content on Facebook

If you were a Facebook advertiser, how would you feel about your advertisement appearing on Facebook pages containing that kind of content? Is it something your brand would like to be associated with?

If it only took me a few seconds of searching to find content like this on Facebook, why can't Facebook search for similarly offensive phrases and take action against unsavoury content.

It's not as though only the only users of Facebook are broad-minded, unoffendable, adults.

Although young people under the age of 13 years old aren't allowed to log into Facebook, it's estimated that millions of pre-teens do go onto the social network every day. They, like the rest of us, can easily come into contact with this kind of offensive material on Facebook. They may even end up the victims of some of it.

Sadly, the onus is on Facebook users themselves to report abuse - which (might) then be followed-up by Facebook's four different abuse teams.

According to Facebook, abuse complaints are normally handled within 72 hours, and the teams are capable of providing support in up to 24 different languages.

If posts are determined by Facebook staff to be in conflict with the site's community standards then action can be taken to remove content and - in the most serious cases - inform law enforcement agencies.

Facebook has produced an infographic which shows how the process works, and gives some indication of the wide variety of abusive content that can appear on such a popular site.

The graphic is, unfortunately, too wide to show easily on Naked Security - but click on the image below to view or download a larger version.

Facebook reporting guide. Click to view large version of infographic

Of course, you shouldn't forget that just because there's content that you might feel is abusive or offensive that Facebook's team will agree with you.

As Facebook explains:

Because of the diversity of our community, it's possible that something could be disagreeable or disturbing to you without meeting the criteria for being removed or blocked. For this reason, we also offer personal controls over what you see, such as the ability to hide or quietly cut ties with people, Pages, or applications that offend you.

My own experience from a few years back (when my wife's life was threatened, I was labelled a paedophile, and Facebook users warned that they would burn my house), was that Facebook chose to take no action until the press got wind of the story.

facebook-threat.jpg

I would like to think things have got better since then - but the emails we receive at Naked Security from Facebook users suggest many still feel they aren't being properly protected from Facebook abuse.

The sheer amount of offensive material residing on Facebook says to me that leaving it up to the community to report offending content isn't working.

In my opinion, Facebook needs to invest resources and technology into pro-actively cleaning up its community, rather than relying on the community to police itself.

We would be interested in hearing about your experiences when you report abusive content to Facebook. Were you happy with Facebook's reponse? Join the discussion on our Facebook page

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40 Responses to Rohypnol, rape and other disturbing content. Isn't it about time Facebook cleaned up its act?

  1. Roberto H · 517 days ago

    Facebook reporting clearly isn't worth the pixels it's written with. I have reported racist pages and Islamophobic posts and Facebook have refused to do anything.

  2. Joe · 517 days ago

    You are advocating censorship, which I am generally against. Why should someone else's standards be applied to what I say or read?

    Certainly threats of violence should be followed up by law enforcement, but the fact that something is offensive to you or anyone else is no reason to prohibit it. Should criticism of dictatorship be prohibited because it offends the dictator? Most of them seem to think so, but I (not being a dictator) disagree.

    Censorship is dangerous to a free society and should not be tolerated.

  3. cakmn · 517 days ago

    When Zuckerberg said he was "committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you" he meant they are really into pushing new code to tweak the interface so we can enjoy the challenge of figuring out how things are supposed to work now ... and now ... and now.

    Sadly, FB has a lot of catching up to do with cleaning up what they've already set loose. It's totally not surprising that the speed and convenience of putting things out there via FB has enabled the worst of humanity along with all the rest. But FB should assume far more responsibility for what it has enabled.

    Yes, it is up to users to help FB "catch" the offenders, but when we report violations FB does nothing or takes forever to do something. FB needs to dedicate far more resources to dealing with user reports. And I suspect much does not get reported because the process is less than clear and easy. There are too many click-steps, often with less than ideal options to chose from at each step, to get through to make a report. On top of that, there is no real positive feedback beyond "Thanks, your report has been submitted." Certainly no personal response, not that one is always necessary, but often it would be appropriate. But, of course, that takes resources - less money in Zuckerberg's pocket.

  4. Lewis · 517 days ago

    I'm playing devil's advocate here to some extent, but I have to say that whilst I agree there's a lot of unpleasant content on Facebook (there are a lot of unpleasant people in this world, and as this article notes, Facebook is used by a huge number of people - ergo the nasty ones are going to be represented along with the perfectly decent ones), this smacks of censorship.
    Jokes about rohypnol may be in bad taste, but can you prove that they aren't just jokes? If a page is actually condoning rape or other criminal activity, or actively promoting hate, or (per the author's experience) engaging in criminal harrassment of individuals, then obviously Facebook should take action and be duly censured if it fails to do so. But something that was intended to be a joke - no matter how poorly conceived and unfunny it might be - is, broadly speaking, a different matter. Humour is subjective, and Facebook would quickly find itself in hot water with its user-base, particularly in the US (constitutional right to free speech and all), if it started censoring pages based on one individual's idea of what constitutes inappropriate (as opposed to illegal) content. Which one of us is qualified to speak for a culturally-diverse user-base of over one billion people? I'm certainly not.
    I regularly see ads and promoted pages in my Facebook feed that I find offensive but which to others would be perfectly acceptable. I know for a fact that if I contacted Facebook to tell them I was offended by pages promoting dangerous fad diets, or the killing of animals for food, or casual gambling, I would be laughed off the internet. So I apply self-censorship ('self' being the key part of the phrase): I don't visit those promoted pages and I click the 'x' next to those ads. Illegal content and pages promoting illegal activity are of course unacceptable, but having a sick sense of humour is not (yet) illegal in the majority of countries where Mr. Zuckerberg's insidious blue-and-white money-machine operates.

    • "but can you prove that they aren't just jokes?"

      Stopped reading after that. Asking to prove a negative? Seriously?

  5. J. Shapiro · 517 days ago

    Way to Go Sophos. You shouldn't be wasting your time writing this stuff. It has nothing to do with your security products.

  6. hello this is dog · 517 days ago

    OMG THERE IS OFFENSIVE THINGS ON THE INTERNET
    WHAT IS 4CHAN
    AN IMAGEBOARD YOU SAY?

  7. jeff · 517 days ago

    Graham, it's time for you to move to China. The government there thinks exactly along the lines you just illustrated.

    Assuming you'll ignore my suggestion, do take a moment to think why the US is a better place than China and which law has contributed to that the most. Then ask yourself why you're advocating against the spirit of that law.

  8. Richard · 517 days ago

    Your argument seems to be that, whilst pre-teens aren't allowed on the site, they go on there anyway, so it should be cleaned up in case they see something they shouldn't.

    By that argument, all 18-certificate films should be censored to exclude adult content, just in case a kid sneaks in to the cinema while it's playing. All adult-rated games should be censored to make them suitable for the children whose parents will ignore the rating. And so on.

    If the content is genuinely illegal, then it should be taken down, and the person who posted it should be prosecuted. Otherwise, leave it alone. If you find it offensive, ignore it.

    Once you start eroding free speech to remove content which you find objectionable, you'll have to delete the entire Internet. With seven billion people on the planet, I doubt there's a single page out there which wouldn't offend at least one person.

  9. Mrs. W · 517 days ago

    Just a reminder:

    You have free speech on a street corner, but no one is obligated to provide you with a soapbox and megaphone.

    Facebook is free to publish or refuse to publish whatever it wishes on the systems that it pays for, and you are free to decide whether it is the sort of community of which you would like to be a part.

    Your supposed right to publish sick jokes means that other people don't feel safe or comfortable exerting their freedom of expression, and that's bad policy for a platform that relies on its ability to get people to share openly.

  10. Phil · 517 days ago

    Your rant is aimed at the wrong target. Censorship of the Internet is not the point of this article, the point is that these pages violate FB's terms of service yet FB has done nothing about it. You rant about parenting failures in letting their children access FB and see something they might be offended by -- do you seriously think a 13 year old girl should be exposed to jokes about date rape? I'd love to see you explain that to your daughter. Really, rather than rant about free speech just answer that one point: How would you explain that?
    Your argument is"If you see something you don't like, then don't look", well FFS if that were the case, nobody would leave their house rather than try to change things they don't like about the world. Apparently you think the perpetrators of hate speech should be protected rather than the victims, I disagree.

  11. Nigel · 517 days ago

    Mrs. W's post (above) nails the essence of this issue. Despite Facebook's nature as a public venue that is open to (nearly) everyone, it is still a privately owned space.

    The point is that Facebook can set any terms and conditions they want. They have no power to compel you to have an account. If you don't like their terms, you can simply go away. You don't have a "right" to a free account, nor do you have a right to post anything you want. It’s not your house.

    Besides, it's not free anyway. You pay for it through Facebook's monetization of your personal information, which includes your relationships, your browsing habits, your opinions, and (depending on how careful you are) all kinds of details about your personal life. If you think they're not coming out ahead on that deal, ask yourself who's the zillionaire...you or Mark Zuckerberg?

    Graham's article is NOT calling for state interference or any other coercive abridgement of "free speech". Rather, he's challenging Facebook to clean up its own act, and to govern their site in a manner that's actually consistent with the "friends and family" image they preach but don't practice. Sanctimonious arguments about "free speech" are irrelevant.

  12. Nigel · 517 days ago

    Nice rant. But notwithstanding your excellent points about responsible parenting, responsible choices in general, and the forcible limitation of rights, none of that applies here.

    Having a Facebook account isn’t some kind of natural "right". It's a privately owned venue whose terms and conditions you agree to honor in order to have an account. Those terms are not negotiable. Facebook sets them unilaterally, but if enough users complain, the terms can change in response to those complaints. That already has happened in numerous cases.

    No one said anything about "... government involvement and or someone telling me how and what I can think about". You're right in noting that such a problem DOES exist, but that's not the case here. This isn't a "freedom of speech" or "freedom of thought" issue. Rather, it's about what kind of environment Facebook should provide, in the author's opinion.

    If Graham (or Sophos, for that matter) doesn't like the environment, they can go away. In the meantime, they have as much right to try to influence Facebook to change the environment as any other user. Your objection to their doing so sounds more like a hypocritical protest against THEIR freedom of speech than an argument in favor of free speech for everyone.

  13. Freida Gray · 517 days ago

    Facebook is very quick to "ban" some pages such as FB Trouble-Makers,& L.E.W.T.F Moments for publishing content that 1 person finds offensive.Other pages don't seem to get any kind of "ban".When you report the offensive content from your News Feed you are given the option of choosing what content you see from the person sharing the content,or unfriending the person .Another option that I have used on occasion is to go to the page itself then block that page.But that doesn't do any real good because you can still see the page if one of your friends shares it.Facebook's reporting feature seems to be useless.The main solution I use now is to hide the page every time I see content from that page or those pages.

  14. Citi · 517 days ago

    It's "raison d'être" please ;)

  15. Kate · 516 days ago

    While I detest rohypnol jokes (they're kinda the modern-day sexist equivalent of racist jokes that insinuate beating African-Americans, no?) I prefer them out in the open because if I'm facebook friends with someone who 'likes' them, I know who to keep at a distance.

    I don't equate offense at rohypnol jokes with offense at Lewis' examples of promoting meat, gambling or fad diets. You choose meat, gambling and dieting for yourself. Try to give yourself rohypnol and rape yourself. Not so easy, I'd bet!

    If you understood that these 'jokes' normalised a cultural attitude of expecting sexual violence from people you trust, and encouraged people who would drug you, rape you, joke about it, film it, put it on the internet, blame you for it... maybe there'd be a few less 'freedom of speech' arguments from men.

    I thought freedom of speech was established to give people a safe voice within a political arena. It seems to include the 'freedom to insult and threaten people'.

    • Richard · 516 days ago

      Freedom of speech means you're free to say whatever you want. Which version of that law adds, "so long as you don't offend or insult anyone"?

      Anyone who would claim these "jokes" as an excuse to rape someone is clearly mentally ill, and is likely to commit rape anyway. Banning the jokes wouldn't change that.

    • Lewis · 512 days ago

      With respect, Kate, I was providing examples of things I find offensive that are acceptable to others. That you do not equate my examples with things you find offensive was precisely my point.

      • Lewis · 512 days ago

        Also, the assumption that it's only men making freedom of speech arguments is sexist. I happen to be female.

  16. Brad Lemon · 516 days ago

    This seems a little like blaming your telephone provider because you don't like the content of your phone calls, Graham!

    Agreed, the examples used are awful, and rape is never funny. But to regulate on the basis that an underaged child may read it (against the law) is ridiculous, as other people have pointed out here.

    The point is, you have to search for these pages. They don't actually just turn up in your news feed, unless your friends are linking to them in which case you may have made some poor friend choices. You turn over every rock and pebble, and when you find an unsavoury page, you say 'Look here, over here, I've found one!'

    Now, this is not the reason I read Sophos Naked Security. My reading time is limited and it would only take two or three of these poor opinion pieces to stop me clicking on links to your articles.

  17. Jeremy · 516 days ago

    I've given up reporting pages on Facebook, the only thing that works is reporting some of the pictures if they contain nudity.

    I always get this message back if I report a page, ALWAYS FROM VIKI so it must be auto generated:
    "Hi,

    Thanks for your recent report of a potential violation on Facebook. After reviewing your report, we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

    Learn more about what we do and don't allow by reviewing the Facebook Community Standards: https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards
    .

    Thanks,
    Viki"

  18. cakmn · 516 days ago

    In response to the "free speech" advocates, there is an important aspect missing and thus a serious weakness in your argument when you use "the right to free speech" in defense of the "disturbing content" being addressed here. Along with higher degrees of freedom, there is also always a greater degree of responsibility to behave at a higher level. This is not a law or rule that is on the books, it is a Law of the Universe that, in Christian terms, is typically known as the Golden Rule - Do unto others as you would have done unto you. There are also equivalent statements from other religious traditions. And in secular terms, this is known as the Law of Reciprocity, commonly stated as "what goes around comes around." Unfortunately, too many people opt for ignoring all responsibility and lean towards interpreting freedom as meaning "anything goes." That's not freedom, that is chaos in which everyone ultimately suffers.

    The point of the article is that Facebook has some rules and guidelines in its Terms of Service - from which I've excerpted a few relevant items - they are not doing very well at upholding their own terms. For all practical purposes, they are therefore not abiding by their own contract with their user-members.

    Some excerpts from FB's "Terms" that are relevant here:

    Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
    3 Safety
    We do our best to keep Facebook safe, but we cannot guarantee it. We need your help to keep Facebook safe, which includes the following commitments by you:
    6. You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user.
    7. You will not post content that: is hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.
    10. You will not use Facebook to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory.
    12. You will not facilitate or encourage any violations of this Statement or our policies.

    Facebook Community Standards
    Please review these standards. They will help you understand what type of expression is acceptable, and what type of content may be reported and removed.
    + Violence and Threats
    Safety is Facebook's top priority. We remove content and may escalate to law enforcement when we perceive a genuine risk of physical harm, or a direct threat to public safety. You may not credibly threaten others, or organize acts of real-world violence. Organizations with a record of terrorist or violent criminal activity are not allowed to maintain a presence on our site. We also prohibit promoting, planning or celebrating any of your actions if they have, or could, result in financial harm to others, including theft and vandalism.
    + Self-Harm
    Facebook takes threats of self-harm very seriously. We remove any promotion or encouragement of self-mutilation, eating disorders or hard drug abuse. We also work with suicide prevention agencies around the world to provide assistance for people in distress.
    + Bullying and Harassment
    Facebook does not tolerate bullying or harassment. We allow users to speak freely on matters and people of public interest, but take action on all reports of abusive behavior directed at private individuals. Repeatedly targeting other users with unwanted friend requests or messages is a form of harassment.
    + Hate Speech
    Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.

  19. Jeremy · 516 days ago

    I've given up reporting pages on Facebook, the only thing that works is reporting some of the pictures if they contain nudity.

    • Mike_in_England · 512 days ago

      Why ban pictures of nudity? In some societies it is taboo but in others it is the norm! Visit Le Cap D'Adge Quartier Naturiste in Southern France and you will be warned that almost everyone you see will be entirely unclothed - but you don't have to go there and you are warned in advance too.

      Doesn't seem that Facebook give any such warnings and it appears they take down pictures of topless or nude people even if they are in context. Just because the attitudes of one society are different from others doesn't give the former the right to censor the latter - as long as they are obey the laws of the country in which they find themselves.

  20. kensaunders · 516 days ago

    I'm all for free speech and I know that you, as a journalist are as well. I don't see you trying to stifle that. I see what you see. If Facebook is going to represent/present itself as a family and friends oriented site/service, then it needs to live up to that. If it's a free-for-all, then that's what it is, but that isn't what Facebook says it is.

  21. Greg Bacon · 516 days ago

    We have at our fingertips one of the best instruments for advancing humanity and furthering our education, but sadly, the 'Net is becoming a race to the bottom of the septic tank.__

  22. D. Seville · 516 days ago

    If you were to walk into a pub, just about anywhere in the world, you're going to hear offensive jokes just as bad as or worse than those shown in this article.
    Now some would argue that that's because of the alcohol but the internet seems to do just as good a job as removing our inhibitions as alcohol does, at least those related to avoiding coming off as a complete asshole.

    In short: I don't think we should expect anything better from an online service than what we see in the real world.

  23. Bill Blagger · 516 days ago

    Good post, Mr Cluley. Basically, FB doesn't really care what is posted on FB, it all means money to them.

  24. Melissa · 515 days ago

    Cyber bullying, stalking, threatening... is out of control on facebook. Here is an account I wrote about what happened to me and the admins of our facebook page over the last couple of weeks. It got so bad, that there were even attempts made to hack into our facebook accounts, and our contact details such as addresses and phones numbers were put in a paste bin on the internet, where anyone can access them. Most of the page admins are women.
    http://www.travelblog.org/Europe/Germany/Bavaria/...

  25. sallystrange · 515 days ago

    Keep in mind that Facebook is apparently very eager to clean up pages depicting women breastfeeding their infants.

    The internet is a communications infrastructure. It should not be censored. Facebook is a private company that bills itself as community where people can connect with their family and friends. Because Facebook is so hypocritical about which pages it says violate its terms of service and which don't, I no longer feel comfortable using it for its stated purpose.

    I find the position of those who prefer this sort of speech out in the open perplexing and short-sighted. First, that sort of speech already is out in the open, with or without FB. There are plenty of other websites willing to promote the rape of women. It's not like keeping them off of FB will make all those other sites go away. Second, are you the one watching your drink at a bar or nightclub for fear you might be raped? No? Then I think that may be why you are under-estimating the amount of harm that pages hosting messages like that do by normalizing the idea that it's okay to rape. The FBI's conservative estimate of the lifetime incidence of rape/sexual assault for women in the USA is 1 in 6. If 1 in 6 men were getting mugged in America, it would be a problem, but for a lot of people, 1 in 6 women and girls being raped is not, and pages like that are part of the reason.

    The right to free speech includes the responsibility to use it wisely--and if you can't, nobody is obligated to give you a platform to promote your harmful ideas.

  26. At the very least, can't the programmers at Facebook develop an algorithm that scans the content of a post and assigns a rating to it, similar to movies?

    It would be quite helpful to be able to set a personal setting that I don't want to see any R or XXX content.

    It would also be helpful if people could download a cookie or app that bars ANY other Facebook user who logs in on that piece of equipment to see only rated G content. That way, I could walkaway from my stepson while he is on the Nickelodeon website and not have to worry about him logging onto Facebook (allowed) and getting into rated PG, R and XXX material.

    Finally, the ability within personal settings and the download to expand or reduce what defines each rating would also be helpful. Facebook can go ahead, adopt the movie rating system, and I can personally decide to add anything to do with the KKK to the rated R list, but to allow "breast" into the PG list so I can talk with my niece about her Mom's battle with breast cancer.

    The ratings already exist for movies and TV, and Facebook has all kinds of ways to customize what you see when you log in.

    Last, if they are really serious about being for people to interact with people, then they need to close down all the "extra" facebooks people open with fake names, They are not as large as they look. I know plenty of people who have 6 or 7 accounts so they can keep the friends who they talk about gambling with separate from the Christian groups they belong to and separate from the Insane Clown Posse friends they have. People should be allowed one "public" profile and one "private". Lady Gaga open to the public, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta locked up tight only for family. Also an ID or at least a Google search to confirm age should be required if you want an adult account. No proof of who you are and what age you are? Fine. You get an account with no XXX content.

  27. SLM284 · 512 days ago

    There is a good side and a bad side to everything - its a diabolical world. There are many scams in the world, censorship is an important part of life, be it good or bad to use - its an important tool of the scammer, to select what is seen or not seen, yet if you care about someone, then try to end the abuse, they complain its bad - they think their the only person to censor any and all things.

  28. 4caster · 512 days ago

    Freedom of speech is an invaluable right, but with it comes the responsibility to use it lawfully, i.e. not to incite or conspire with others to break the law, because incitement and conspiracy are offences in their own right.
    Brenda Eckels Burrows's comment about Facebook developing an algorithm to identify and filter the content of posts, denying some types to people who have requested that service, is a good suggestion, but fraught with practical difficulties.
    I one identified a beautiful photo of an anvil cloud on the Grimsby Telegraph website. It was clearly a cumulonimbus. Except that the automatic censor changed it to ***ulonimbus.
    Apparently we are allowed cirrus, stratus but not cumulus clouds. Shares are allowed to be ex-dividend but not cum-dividend.
    If that is state of the art, farmers will not be allowed to talk about oilseed rape yields, etc. on Facebook. Nor will ornithologists or tobacconists be able to discuss shags.
    There is no substitiute for the reporting of unlawful posts by Facebook users, and robust action by Mark Zuckerberg's minders, including reporting them to law enforcement agencies.

  29. brightspark · 512 days ago

    Well I say... good on you Graham!!

    Glorifying or promoting illegal and/or immoral acts does NOT represent freedom of speech and should not be tolerated at any level.

    Personal filters are not the answer. This type of content is simply unacceptable, and if someone does not make a stand the lunatics shall indeed eventually take over the asylum.

  30. SLM284 · 512 days ago

    Tolarate everything and see how long it stays a free world and free speech.

    Your idea of a Psychopath is impossible, your idea of a psychopath is a person who is aware of reality, that all psychopaths are saints and should be given a special place to play.

    Soon the only thing left is con-artists allowed to speak freely - its fight against pointing out where the problem is - therefore censor for knowing how bad it is. Your a big fake - you and your non existent idea of free speech.

    Thank goodness I never use your Software

  31. John K · 511 days ago

    We cannot have culture with anarchy. Too much anarchy will destroy the culture of Facebook. Although Mr. Cluley's comments verge on censorship, the point he is making is sound: If Facebook presents itself as a "family" site where we connect with our friends etc then the inclusion of children is automatic, encompassed in the word "family" and some sort of controls are necessary to stay within the bounds of our concept of "family". Without controls we have anarchy and to prevent that we have our security systems and police. We may not like the police nor will we like the Facebook Police, but some form of culture is necessary for Facebook. Is there a set of posting rules or bylaws for Facebook? If a poster violates those rules then delete the poster and all the content.

    It is like everything else: buyer beware. I, myself, am deleting myself from Facebook after I discovered my logo attached to my name, (but not my information) on another social networking site not related to Facebook as far as I know. The person had my name but has no connection with me. This means that the listing site was able to access my personal information from Facebook without my knowledge. Now, where did my personal information go? I know it happened because I searched my name on Google and found my new Facebook logo which I had just changed a few days ago attached to another man in another country. Fortunately it was not a photo of me. That's why I changed. If I had a lot of pictures etc. on Facebook, I would wonder who is taking and using those photos.

    The end result is that I now have a skimpy personal info page and I will leave it until I tell all my Facebook friends that I am leaving. It was fun, but as I don't feel comfortable talking to anyone or posting pictures of my life on Facebook, I am leaving.

    The moral of my convoluted story is: There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so public as Facebook. Right now there are only two rules in Facebook: 1. Anything goes on Facebook. Rule 2: See rule1.

  32. Guest · 511 days ago

    I reported content several times, and it worked just fine and quickly. However, I'm aware that this is by far not for all of us the case.
    As to quote:

    "The sheer amount of offensive material residing on Facebook says to me that leaving it up to the community to report offending content isn't working.
    In my opinion, Facebook needs to invest resources and technology into pro-actively cleaning up its community, rather than relying on the community to police itself."

    They aren't leaving it up to the community only. Yet, the community is many times greater than the whole facebook team. I am sure there's lots of work that's got to be done, that just isn't even known or accessible to the public (community).
    The need of better, more effective technology is an undeniable fact. Nevertheless, we as the community are most qualified to spot and report any inappropriate content.

    We want facebook, and we want it for free. So then, let's do our bit.
    We are great at making demands - and even greater when it comes to delegate (our part of) responsibility.

    Cheers

  33. Susan H. · 507 days ago

    FB used to be fun. Now it has become a cesspool of spammers/scammers and other unscrupulous, unsavory nuts.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.