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February 5, 2024

The Oversight Board has upheld Meta’s decision to leave up a video that was edited to make it appear as though U.S. President Joe Biden is inappropriately touching his adult granddaughter’s chest, and which is accompanied by a caption describing him as a “pedophile.” The Facebook post does not violate Meta’s Manipulated Media policy, which applies only to video created through artificial intelligence (AI) and only to content showing people saying things they did not say.

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January 23, 2024

The Oversight Board has overturned Meta’s original decision to leave up an Instagram post containing false and distorted claims about the Holocaust. The Board finds that the content violated Meta’s Hate Speech Community Standard, which bans Holocaust denial. This prohibition is consistent with Meta’s human-rights responsibilities. The Board is concerned about Meta’s failure to remove this content and has questions about the effectiveness of the company’s enforcement.

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January 16, 2024

The Oversight Board has overturned Meta’s original decision to leave up a Facebook post in which a user targeted transgender people with violent speech advocating for members of this group to commit suicide. The Board finds the post violated both the Hate Speech and Suicide and Self-Injury Community Standards. However, the fundamental issue in this case is not with the policies, but their enforcement.

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December 5, 2023

The Oversight Board has overturned Meta’s decision to take down a video from Facebook showing people entering a police station in Haiti, attempting to break into a cell holding an alleged gang member and threatening them with violence. The Board finds the video did violate the company’s Violence and Incitement policy. Nonetheless, the majority of the Board disagrees with Meta’s assessment on the application of the newsworthiness allowance in this case.

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November 28, 2023

The Oversight Board has upheld Meta’s decision to remove a Facebook post containing a video of communal violence in the Indian state of Odisha. The Board found that the post violated Meta’s rules on violence and incitement. The majority of the Board also concludes that Meta’s decision to remove all identical videos across its platforms was justified in the specific context of heightened tensions and ongoing violence in the state of Odisha.

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October 30, 2023

The Oversight Board has upheld Meta’s decisions to keep up two posts in which a woman shares her first-hand experience of a fruit juice-only diet. The Board agrees that neither violate Facebook’s Suicide and Self-Injury Community Standard because they do not “provide instructions for drastic and unhealthy weight loss.” However, the Board recommends that Meta restrict “extreme and harmful diet-related content” in its Content Monetization policies.

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October 3, 2023

The Oversight Board has overturned Meta’s decision to remove a video posted by a Cuban news platform on Instagram in which a woman protests against the Cuban government, calls for other women to join her and criticizes men, by comparing them to animals culturally perceived as inferior, for failing to defend those who have been repressed. The Board finds the speech in the video to be a qualified behavioral statement that, under Meta’s Hate Speech Community Standard, should be allowed.

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September 6, 2023

The Oversight Board has overturned Meta’s original decisions to remove three posts discussing abortion and containing rhetorical uses of violent language as a figure of speech. While Meta acknowledges its original decisions were wrong and none of the posts violated its Violence and Incitement policy, these cases raise concerns about whether Meta’s approach to assessing violent rhetoric is disproportionately impacting abortion debates and political expression.

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August 17, 2023

The Oversight Board has overturned Meta’s decision to leave up a user’s Instagram post discussing their experience using ketamine as a treatment for anxiety and depression. The Board finds that the content violated Meta’s Branded Content policies and the company’s Restricted Goods and Services Community Standard. This case indicates that Meta’s strong restrictions on branded content promoting drugs and attempts to buy, sell, or trade drugs may be inconsistently enforced.

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August 1, 2023

The Oversight Board has overturned Meta’s original decision to leave up a Facebook post that mocks a target of gender-based violence. While Meta has since recognized this post broke its rules on Bullying and Harassment, the Board has identified a gap in Meta’s existing rules which seems to allow content that normalizes gender-based violence by praising, justifying, celebrating or mocking it (for example, in cases where the target is not identifiable, or the picture is of a fictional character).

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July 12, 2023

The Oversight Board has overturned Meta’s decisions to remove two Instagram posts which condemned gender-based violence. The Board recommends that Meta include the exception for allowing content that condemns or raises awareness of gender-based violence in the public language of the Hate Speech policy, as well as update its internal guidance to reviewers to ensure such posts are not mistakenly removed.

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June 29, 2023

The Oversight Board has overturned Meta’s decision to leave up a video on Facebook in which Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen threatens his political opponents with violence. Given the severity of the violation, Hun Sen’s history of committing human rights violations and intimidating political opponents, as well as his strategic use of social media to amplify such threats, the Board calls on Meta to immediately suspend Hun Sen’s Facebook page and Instagram account for six months.

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June 27, 2023

Today, following changes to our Bylaws in February, we are issuing three summary decisions about praise for Bissau-Guinean anti-colonial leader Amílcar Cabral, dehumanizing speech against a woman, and a metaphorical statement against the then-president of Peru, Pedro Castillo. Summary decisions examine cases where Meta reversed its original decision on a piece of content after we brought the case to the company’s attention.

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June 13, 2023

The Oversight Board has upheld Meta’s decision to leave up a Facebook post that included a video depicting identifiable prisoners of war and add a “mark as disturbing” warning screen to the video. The Board found that Meta correctly applied a newsworthiness allowance to the post, which would have otherwise been removed for violating its Coordinating Harm and Promoting Crime Community Standard.

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May 25, 2023

Today, the Board is announcing new cases for consideration: the "political dispute ahead of Turkish elections" cases and the "promoting Ketamine for non-FDA-approved treatments" case. As part of this, we are inviting people and organizations to submit public comments.

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April 5, 2023

Today we are announcing that 17 Board Members appointed in 2020, including our three Co-Chairs, have been renewed for a second term, which begins on April 1, 2023. With the completion of Board Members’ first terms, Meta is withdrawing from the selection process. Once the ongoing processes for selecting two new Board Members are complete, the Oversight Board will be solely responsible for the selection of all future Board Members.

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February 14, 2023

Today, we are announcing significant changes to our Charter and Bylaws to allow us to review more cases and to do so faster than before. We are also publishing a quarterly transparency report about our work in the fourth quarter of 2022, and announcing the appointment of a new Board Member, Kenji Yoshino – a constitutional law scholar from the United States.

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October 20, 2022

Two years on from accepting our first cases, we are announcing seven strategic priorities where we want to work with stakeholders to reshape Meta’s approach to content moderation. This will increase our impact in the areas where we can make the biggest difference to how people experience Facebook and Instagram.

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July 22, 2022

Today the Oversight Board Trust announced that Meta has made a commitment that provides for ongoing financial support for the Oversight Board. As part of that commitment, the company will make a $150 million contribution to the Trust.

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June 22, 2022

Today, we are publishing our first Annual Report, which covers the period from October 2020, when we started accepting appeals, through December 2021. This describes the progress we have made in improving how Meta treats users and other affected populations around the world – and points to how much more work there is to do.

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June 13, 2022

The Oversight Board has upheld Meta’s decision to restore a Facebook post depicting violence against a civilian in Sudan. The content raised awareness of human rights abuses and had significant public interest value. The Board recommended that Meta add a specific exception on raising awareness of or documenting human rights abuses to the Violent and Graphic Content Community Standard.

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March 15, 2022

Today, the Board is announcing three new cases for consideration: a cartoon related to Croatia, a graphic video depicting a civilian victim of violence in Sudan, and a post where the user attempts to reclaim certain Arabic words.

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February 8, 2022

Today, the Oversight Board has published a policy advisory opinion on the sharing of private residential information. Among its recommendations, the Board proposes that Meta remove the exception to the Privacy Violations Community Standard that allows the sharing of private residential information when it is considered “publicly available.”

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February 1, 2022

The Oversight Board has overturned Meta’s decision to remove a post describing incidents of sexual violence against two minors. The Board found that the post did not violate the Community Standard on Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Nudity. The broader context of the post makes it clear that the user was reporting on an issue of public interest and condemning the sexual exploitation of a minor.

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December 14, 2021

The Oversight Board has upheld Meta’s original decision to remove a post alleging the involvement of ethnic Tigrayan civilians in atrocities in Ethiopia’s Amhara region. However, as Meta restored the post after the user’s appeal to the Board, the company must once again remove the content from the platform.

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December 9, 2021

The Oversight Board has overturned Meta’s decision to remove a post discussing the plant-based brew ayahuasca. The Board found that the post did not violate Instagram’s Community Guidelines as they were articulated at the time. Meta’s human rights responsibilities also supported restoring the content. The Board recommended that Meta change Facebook and Instagram’s rules to allow users to discuss the traditional or religious uses of non-medical drugs in a positive way.

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December 9, 2021

The Oversight Board has overturned Meta’s original decision to remove a Facebook post from an Indigenous North American artist that was removed under Facebook’s Hate Speech Community Standard. The Board found that the content is covered by allowances to the Hate Speech policy as it is intended to raise awareness of historic crimes against Indigenous people in North America.

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October 21, 2021

Over the last several weeks, media reporting has drawn renewed attention to the seemingly inconsistent way in which Facebook makes decisions, and why greater transparency and independent oversight of Facebook matter so much for users. As part of the Board's commitment to transparency, today we are publishing our first quarterly transparency reports.

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September 28, 2021

The Oversight Board has upheld Facebook’s decision to remove a post discussing South African society under its Hate Speech Community Standard. The Board found that the post contained a slur which, in the South African context, was degrading, excluding and harmful to the people it targeted.

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September 27, 2021

The Oversight Board has overturned Facebook’s decision to remove a post showing a video of protesters in Colombia criticizing the country’s president, Ivan Duque. In the video, the protesters use a word designated as a slur under Facebook’s Hate Speech Community Standard. Assessing the public interest value of this content, the Board found that Facebook should have applied the newsworthiness allowance in this case.

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September 21, 2021

Last week, new information emerged on Facebook’s ‘cross-check’ system, which the company uses to review content decisions relating to some high-profile users. This information came to light due to the reporting of the Wall Street Journal, and we are grateful to the efforts of journalists who have shed greater light on issues that are relevant to the Board’s mission.

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September 14, 2021

The Oversight Board agrees that Facebook was correct to reverse its original decision to remove content on Facebook that shared a news post about a threat of violence from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian group Hamas. Facebook originally removed the content under the Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Community Standard, and restored it after the Board selected this case for review.

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August 11, 2021

The Oversight Board has overturned Facebook’s decision to remove a post in Burmese under its Hate Speech Community Standard. The Board found that the post did not target Chinese people, but the Chinese state. Specifically, it used profanity to reference Chinese governmental policy in Hong Kong as part of a political discussion on the Chinese government’s role in Myanmar.

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July 13, 2021

Today the Board is announcing two new cases related to Colombia and South Africa. In both cases, Facebook removed the content under its Hate Speech Community Standard.

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July 8, 2021

The Oversight Board has overturned Facebook’s original decision to remove an Instagram post encouraging people to discuss the solitary confinement of Abdullah Öcalan, a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). After the user appealed and the Board selected the case for review, Facebook concluded that the content was removed in error and restored it.

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June 30, 2021

The Oversight Board has announced a new case. In May, a Facebook user in Egypt shared a post by a verified Al Jazeera news page about the escalating violence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

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May 26, 2021

The Oversight Board has overturned Facebook’s decision to remove a comment in which a supporter of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny called another user a “cowardly bot.” Facebook removed the comment for using the word “cowardly” which was construed as a negative character claim.

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May 5, 2021

The Board has upheld Facebook’s decision on January 7, 2021, to restrict then-President Donald Trump’s access to posting content on his Facebook page and Instagram account. However, it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension. Facebook’s normal penalties include removing the violating content, imposing a time-bound period of suspension, or permanently disabling the page and account.

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April 29, 2021

The Oversight Board has overturned Facebook’s decision to remove a post under its Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Community Standard. After the Board identified this case for review, Facebook restored the content. The Board expressed concerns that Facebook did not review the user’s appeal against its original decision. The Board also urged the company to take action to avoid mistakes which silence the voices of religious minorities.

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February 12, 2021

The Oversight Board has overturned Facebook’s decision to remove a post under its Violence and Incitement Community Standard. While the company considered that the post contained a veiled threat, a majority of the Board believed it should be restored. This decision should only be implemented pending user notification and consent.

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January 29, 2021

Following the publication of our first case decisions, the Board is announcing its next cases and opening the public comments process. Two cases have been selected by the Board, including the case accepted by the Board last week relating to former US President Trump’s indefinite suspension from Facebook and Instagram.

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January 28, 2021

Today, the Oversight Board is announcing its first decisions. In the five case decisions published today, the Board overturned four of Facebook’s decisions, upheld one and issued nine policy recommendations to the company. The cases covered four continents: Asia, Europe, North America and South America. None of these cases had easy answers and deliberations revealed the enormous complexity of the issues involved.

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January 28, 2021

The Oversight Board has overturned Facebook’s decision to remove a post which it claimed, “contributes to the risk of imminent… physical harm.” The Board found Facebook’s misinformation and imminent harm rule (part of its Violence and Incitement Community Standard) to be inappropriately vague and recommended, among other things, that the company create a new Community Standard on health misinformation.

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January 28, 2021

The Oversight Board has overturned Facebook’s decision to remove a post on Instagram. After the Board selected this case, Facebook restored the content. Facebook’s automated systems originally removed the post for violating the company’s Community Standard on Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity. The Board found that the post was allowed under a policy exception for “breast cancer awareness” and Facebook’s automated moderation in this case raises important human rights concerns.

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December 21, 2020

Today the Oversight Board is releasing the outcome of a human rights report requested by the Board and delivered by the non-profit organization Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). We are also publishing our procedures for how Board Members select and review cases, as well as how they make policy recommendations to Facebook.

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December 3, 2020

This week, the Oversight Board announced the first cases it will be deliberating and the opening of the public comment process. Today, the Board selected an additional case for consideration.

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October 22, 2020

Today we're announcing an important milestone in the progress of the Oversight Board. From today, if your content is removed from Facebook or Instagram and you have exhausted the company's appeal process, you can challenge this decision by appealing to the Oversight Board. Similarly, Facebook can now refer cases for a decision about whether content should remain up or come down. In the coming months you will also be able to appeal to the Board about content you want Facebook to remove.

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May 6, 2020

Today the impact of social media on people’s lives is hard to grasp. This can often be positive. As the world lives through a global health crisis, social media has become a lifeline for helping people and communities to stay connected become a lifeline for helping people and communities to stay connected.

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