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Facebook’s response to its Oversight Board’s recommendations and rulings has finally come, and it is more satisfactory than expected

Facebook is quite notorious and has often been frowned upon for its relaxed content moderation policies. To overcome this issue, Facebook formed an Oversight Board of twenty members including highly dignified and well-known people from different fields of life. The board was set up in 2019, but it started hearing cases in October 2020. Anyone having a problem with any of Facebook’s actions to any post can apply their case in front of the Oversight Board. The board studies the circumstances and then comes up with rulings that require Facebook to either reverse its actions or do as the board suggests.

Now, a few days ago, the Oversight Board gave its rulings for several posts that were taken down by Facebook due to its perception of them violating its policies for nudity, misinformation, hate-speech, violence, misinformation, etc. After studying these posts and their context thoroughly, the board decided that Facebook must restore four out of five of this removed content. Facebook has now responded to the rulings of the Oversight Board in quite a positive manner.

The company has announced that it is going to address these five issues, as well as the other six issues too. Out of the total 17 areas that the Oversight Board looked into and suggested Facebook make changes, the company has promised to commit to 11 out of 17 of these areas. Facebook says that the company has already taken action as per the recommendation of the board in some cases. While 5 out of these 17 cases will be reconsidered and will be addressed once Facebook finds them on more feasible grounds.

Only for one case out of these 17 areas has Facebook decided to not take any further action. This case was of a video related to some cures for COVID-19 that received a comment related to the French government’s health policy. Facebook had taken it down to curb down the spread of misinformation. The Oversight Board, however, thinks that the action was unnecessary as it would not lead people to start self-medicating. But here, Facebook has decided to stand by its stance and not make any amends to restore the removed content.

On the other hand, the company has shown an adaptive and flexible behavior in terms of the case of 8 breast cancer-related photographs that were posted on Instagram, and its algorithm removed them considering them to violate the company’s nudity guidelines.

Now, for this case, Facebook has committed to updating the community policies on nudity on Instagram’s platform with improved and enhanced information for the automated detectors. Also, the company is going to be more transparent about its enforced actions.

Since that post was concerning a health issue and should not have been removed, so Facebook has committed to making its health misinformation rules clearer to avoid such instances in the future.

The company has decided to add more details to its Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Community Standards too.

While these cases were important and Facebook’s response to the rulings is pretty positive too, however, the Oversight Board is now going to review the case of Donald Trump’s banishment from the social platform. Whether the ban on him should be lifted or not, the decision is going to be difficult, and so will be Facebook’s response to it.


Read next: Facebook’s Attempts to Stop Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories Have Failed Miserably

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