Facebook Inc’s independent oversight board made its first binding decisions on Thursday, overruling the company’s actions in four of the five cases it reviewed.
The oversight board also made non-binding recommendations, calling for the company to make its content moderation policies clearer and more precise.
- A post from a user in Myanmar with photos of a deceased child that included commentary on China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims. Facebook removed the post under its hate speech rules, but the board ruled the terms used were not derogatory or violent.
- An alleged quote from Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels that Facebook removed for violating its policy on “dangerous individuals and organizations.” The user said they intended to draw a comparison with the presidency of former U.S. President Donald Trump.
The board said the quote did not support Nazi ideology or acts. It said Facebook’s rules were not sufficiently clear for users and called for the company to provide public examples of dangerous individuals and groups.
- A post in a group claiming certain drugs could cure COVID-19, which criticized the French government’s response to the pandemic. This case was submitted by Facebook.
The board said Facebook’s rule against misinformation that contributes to the risk of imminent physical harm was too vague. It also recommended Facebook create a new ‘Community Standard’ on health misinformation and that it should be “less intrusive” in enforcing policies where content does not risk imminent physical harm.
- Instagram photos showing female nipples that the user in Brazil said aimed to raise awareness of breast cancer symptoms. Facebook had also said this removal was an error and restored the post.
The board said that the incorrect, automated removal of this post indicated “the lack of proper human oversight which raises human rights concerns.” It said Facebook should tell users when automated enforcement is used to moderate their content.
- A post that purported to show historical photos of churches in Baku, Azerbaijan, with a caption that Facebook said indicated “disdain” for Azerbaijani people and support for Armenia.
A majority of the board agreed with Facebook’s removal of the post.