In my personal experience and having researched the matter, I can say with a certain amount of conviction that Facebook’s policies in publishing images of animal abuse are inadequate. Their rules on showing cruelty to animals need tightening up
It seems to me that (a) Facebook are desperate not to censor almost anything because they want an open platform to encourage website growth and (b) they rely on users of their website or visitors to report animal abuse images and videos to them. Therefore they are not actually monitoring their website.
Even if (and this is not the case) a lot of people reported a lot of animal abuse it would still take a long time for Facebook to respond during which time people are viewing nasty images which they should not be seeing.
It is my firm belief that images of animal abuse can both damage sensitive people who see them and promote animal cruelty in people who are insensitive and ignorant. Therefore Facebook has a duty towards the public to take much stricter action against images of animal abuse.
The administrators of this huge website have consistently demonstrated to me and to others a strong reluctance to in any way censor their site.
I am told that FB moderators struggle to apply their employer’s rules which does not inspire confidence.
On this page you will see three images relating to their policy on animal cruelty images from 2017, I believe. I don’t know whether they have tightened up their policies since the screenshots were made. I doubt it. You can get an immediate sense of their slack approach to this very important matter.
In the UK, there is an increasing demand amongst legislators to regulate Facebook which many consider to be a publisher rather than a platform for others to air their views. If the company is a publisher they would fall under the rules governing publications which are quite strict in the UK and I’m sure elsewhere.
Today, in The Times the Right Reverend Rachel Treweek is reported as saying that social media sites should be fined millions of pounds if they fail to take down abusive posts that harm children. The same should be said about animal abuse images which are of particular concern to me.
Britain should follow Germany where in 2017 politicians voted to fine social media companies up to €50 million if they did not remove obviously criminal material within 24 hours of being alerted to it.