Moral Low Ground

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Disgruntled Moroccan Facebook Censor Trainee Amine Derkaoui, Paid $1/Hour, Leaks Content Screening Guidelines to Gawker

A disgruntled former trainee contractor who was paid $1/hour while learning how to screen Facebook’s online content has leaked the company’s censorship guidelines to a popular website.

Amine Derkaoui, a 21-year-old Moroccan man, spent a few weeks training to screen Facebook content through oDesk, an outsourcing company, for a dollar an hour. According to Gawker, which received the leaked censorship guidelines, Derkaoui was one of a “small army of human content moderators.”

“It’s humiliating. They are just exploiting the third world,” Derkaoui fumed to Gawker just weeks after Facebook filed their record $100 billion IPO.

Derkaoui never finished his training because he missed a critical test while fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, but he was able to provide Gakwer with a intriguing list of what is and isn’t allowed to be posted on the world’s most popular social networking site.

Up until now, some of what isn’t allowed simply baffled many Facebook users. A photo of a simple gay kiss was deleted. So was an artist’s nude drawing. A ban on breast-feeding photos has infuriated “lactivists.”

But thanks to Derkaoui and his Wikileaks-style revelation, we now know exactly what sort of posts are forbidden. Broken into categories such as “sex and nudity,” “hate content,” “graphic content” and “bullying and harassment,” Facebook’s blacklist includes:

  • Blatant (obvious) depiction of “camel toes” and “moose knuckles.”
  • Mothers breastfeeding without clothes on.
  • Sex toys or other objects, but only in the context of sexual activity.
  • Depicting sexual fetishes in any form.
  • ANY photoshopped images of people, whether negative, positive or neutral.
  • Images of drunk and unconscious people , or sleeping people with things drawn on their face.
  • Violent speech (Example: “I love hearing skulls crack.”).

As is so often the case in American culture, graphic violence is considered far more acceptable than graphic sexual content. According to the leaked guidelines, “crushed heads, limbs etc are OK as long as no insides are showing… Deep flesh wounds are ok to show; excessive blood is ok to show.”

But, “naked ‘private parts’ including female nipple bulges and naked butt cracks” will get deleted.

Images of marijuana and its use are fine, so long as it doesn’t look like you’re a drug dealer.

Hate speech is accepted if it’s part of a joke.

Animal abuse videos are allowed as long as it is clear that the abuse is not being condoned.

Graphic anti-abortion images are apparently okay unless “dismemberment or decapitation is shown, or the insides are visible.”

Holocaust denial is a no-go, as are attacks on Attaturk, the founding father of the modern Turkish nation. This is to achieve “international compliance;” or sucking up to some particular country’s (only powerful ones, of course) highly politicized agenda. Pity poor Palestine.

Speaking of sucking, bodily fluids are  also strictly verboten. No semen, urine, feces, vomit or– believe it or not– ear wax.

Crushed heads good. Ear wax bad.

WTF, Facebook?


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