Does Meta Really Follow Its Own Advice? New Annual Report By The Oversight Board Says it All

Time after time, we do see tech giant Meta speak about some great advisory suggestions such as those relating to moderation across its own apps. But did you ever wonder how far Meta actually goes in terms of following its own advice? And if yes, how often does it actually stay on track?

Well, thanks to a new annual report by the Oversight Board, we are now getting more insights into factual information about Meta and its own governance.

This is the first time that such a report has been generated and it is known to take into account thousands of appeals from users of Facebook and Instagram that have occurred in the previous year.

Interestingly, most of the requests generated had to do with overturning content that Meta had removed because they felt it wasn’t aligned with the company’s policies. Common topics of interest included violence, bullying, and also sensitive speech concerns.

The board was then seen releasing decisions with explanations on a number of significant cases. And you might be shocked that 70% of those cases were actually overturned against the verdict offered by Meta.

The board mentioned in the report how there was an increasing level of demand by users of Facebook and Instagram pertaining to their concerns about the content being blocked. They wanted an independent body to better gauge what was right from wrong and it now seems that their prayers are being heard because that is where the board steps in.

And you can probably expect that the board’s biggest and toughest decision was related to the decision of reinstating former US President Donald Trump. He was reportedly taken out from Facebook after evidence proved he tried to instigate citizens to carry out insurrection on the US Capital on January 6th through violent protests and riots.

To help solve that issue, the board went to Facebook and requested them to further shed light on their policies and rules that served as the basis for the removal.

And that’s when the board realized that despite kicking out the country’s former commander in chief, they failed to provide any clear report of the procedure used. In addition to that, they commented on how Facebook failed to provide any rules for its indefinite suspensions that were allotted to Donald Trump.

Other than just commenting on Facebook’s decisions, we see the board mentioning in the report a series of recommendations that could further assist the organization in the future in making content moderation decisions.

This includes a strict emphasis on rules that need to be deployed before making such harsh judgments.

Keeping in mind less publicized issues, the board recommends that Meta keep a check on its doxing rules and provide more transparent reports about how it has managed to cross-check information about COVID-19 and eliminate fake findings that increase the spread of misinformation.

Remember, the pandemic has really opened so many people’s eyes in regards to how important of a task fact-checking is with health regulatory bodies because these are official channels that are spreading information and hence need verification before posting.

Just in its first year, we saw the Oversight Board create more than 86 different recommendations for a policy change for Meta and it’s great to see Meta implementing quite a few of these already.

This also entails providing users with a greater level of insight about their content and how it’s now being strictly monitored with assistance from human minds and AI-powered technology too. Hence, this also highlights how much Meta followed the recommendations provided by the board.

The latest update that we’re made aware of is how the board is currently carrying out dialogue with Meta in terms of how it wants the firm to focus on groups and accounts and not just a single post.
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