The rules around who can share content on social media platforms like Facebook and Google’s Google+ are evolving.
The most recent updates to the “Content Guidelines” governing online advertising include a new rule for how much a site can ask for from its audience.
It’s a step towards what could be a broader overhaul of how social media sites and advertisers operate.
“It’s important to recognize that these rules are being put in place by individuals and not by the platform or platform owner,” says Matt Forney, an attorney at the law firm Hunton & Foerster.
“So this change in the guidelines will apply to all publishers.”
Forney says the rules are designed to allow social media publishers to get paid for their content.
That’s important, because they often sell advertising on their sites.
For example, the New York Times recently started a partnership with Facebook to allow users to pay for stories on the site.
But many other social media companies have balked at the new rules, fearing that their sites will be unable to reach the massive audience of users who are paying to view their content on the platform.
“What is happening is that some platforms are taking the content guidelines, and they’re taking the rulebook, and the content is being broken,” Forney says.
“The content guidelines are a little more flexible than what we’re used to, but the content rules aren’t.”
In a recent blog post, Facebook explained that it has a “small team” that works with publishers to work out the finer details of the rules, and it is “not a regulator” of content that is posted by users.
“If a post does not comply with the rules of Facebook, Facebook will notify the user and take appropriate action,” the post said.
But there’s a long history of social media users taking to the streets to protest these new rules.
Forney thinks that Facebook’s new rules will help the platform’s advertising revenue grow as a result of these protests.
For more on how the social media company is responding to protests, check out the full story below.