Facebook Oversight Board Issued Its First Rulings and Overruled Four on Five of the Content Removal Requests

Facebook’s newly launched “Facebook Oversight Board” gave out its first ruling this Thursday.

Facebook at the end of last year created their own Supreme Court to make the hardest calls for the company about what posts to keep and what posts to ban. The company was established in October last year and since then have received over 150,000 requests of appeal for the panel. Obviously the board of panels cannot go through each and every request to make the decisions on which posts to keep and which to not, and therefore they have decided that they will prioritize requests of posts which may impact a large population of people negatively or which may raise questions about Facebook.

This week on Thursday, Facebook issued its first ruling and gave out its decisions for four out of five cases.

The first case was related to a post which called out to condemn the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China by a user in Myanmar, but Facebook overturned the appeal saying that it did not advocate hatred or any kind of imminent harm and hence there was of no use of banning the post. Facebook has already been criticized for playing a role of Muslim genocide in Muslim minority countries.

The second case was related to nudity. A woman from Brazil in awareness for breast cancer month in October posted a picture of a woman’s nipple on Instagram which is also owned by Facebook. It was removed at first by Instagram but the appeal was later overturned and the post was restored in December. Facebook said that even though the Tech Giant has some rules against nudity but those do not include posts raising awareness about Breast Cancer.

The third post was related to a post which contained a picture with a quote of Joseph Goebbels who was a Nazi official and present on the list of “dangerous individuals”, but Facebook Court overturned the request of banning the post saying that the post was a criticism against the behavior Joseph Goebbels had displayed and not a celebration in his memory.

The fourth case which was overruled by the Facebook Oversight Board was a post removed by Facebook of a user in France who criticized the France government saying that the said government was holding back a cure for Covid-19 and Facebook said that it removed the post because it leads to imminent harm, but the Facebook court worked against this saying the user was only commenting on the government’s policy.

The Facebook Oversight Board consists of 20 experts from around the world and is funded by Facebook through an independent trust. Each case that comes through is first reviewed by five randomly selected people from the board and then the final decision is taken under the presence of the entire board.

Photo: AP

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