Meta has said it is updating its “Facebook jail” penalty system to make it fairer and more effective.

The company said they will still be able to keep the platform safe while also allowing people to express themselves with new penalty updates.

“Under the new system, we will focus on helping people understand why we have removed their content, which is shown to be more effective at preventing re-offending, rather than so quickly restricting their ability to post,” said Monika Bickert, Vice President of Content Policy at Meta.

Meta will still apply account restrictions to persistent violators, typically beginning at the seventh violation, after it has given sufficient warnings and explanations to help the person understand why it removed their content.

The company will also restrict people from posting in groups at lower thresholds where warranted.

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“For more serious violations: posting content that includes terrorism, child exploitation, human trafficking, suicide promotion, sexual exploitation, the sale of non-medical drugs or the promotion of dangerous individuals and organizations, we will continue to apply immediate consequences, including account removal in severe cases,” said Bickert.

Historically, some of those people have ended up in “Facebook jail” without understanding what they did wrong or whether they were impacted by a content enforcement mistake.

“We’re making this change in part because we know we don’t always get it right,” said Meta.

Rather than potentially over-penalizing people with a lower number of strikes from low-severity violations and limiting their ability to express themselves, “this new approach will lead to faster and more impactful actions for those that continuously violate our policies”.

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“Our analysis has found that nearly 80 percent of users with a low number of strikes do not go on to violate our policies again in the next 60 days,” informed Bickert.