Facebook has reviewed its acceptable use policy. Acceptable Use Policies contain rules and standards that visitors/users of a website must comply with when they are using its features. A website operator normally wishes to be free to remove any offending statement or material from the website as soon as it becomes aware of its existence. However, by doing this, the website operator may in turn be in breach of its contractual duties to the website user.
A user’s acceptance of an Acceptable Use Policy assists an operator as it requires that, when using any interactive features (and particularly when uploading material to the website), the user must fulfil certain content standards. Material which is in breach of those standards can be removed from the website without the website operator incurring any contractual liability to the user in question.
An adequate Acceptable Use Policy will make it easier for the website operator to rely on the defences set out in section 1 of the Defamation Act and regulation 19 of the E-commerce Regulations in case of defamatory or infringing material posted by the user on the website.
Facebook is providing the public with more information about what material is banned on the social network. Its revamped community standards now include a separate section on "dangerous organisations" and give more details about what types of nudity it allows to be posted. The US firm said it hoped the new guidelines would provide "clarity". One of its safety advisers praised the move but said that it was "frustrating" other steps had not been taken. Facebook says about 1.4 billion people use its service at least once a month