Facebook’s new supervisory body announced in its first rulings on Thursday that the company had wrongly removed controversial posts from the platform in four out of five cases it considered.
That didn’t include Donald Trump’s perpetual suspension from Facebook and Instagram after the U.S. Capitol storm, but the board said last week it was OK to look into that case.
The Oversight Board said it overturned the platform’s decision in four of the five cases investigated and ordered that the controversial content be restored on Facebook.
For example, those four included a post claiming France has no health care strategy and claiming that there is a cure for Covid-19.
This post was originally removed on the grounds that it contributed to “the risk of impending … physical harm”. However, the review panel said Facebook’s rule on misinformation and imminent harm is “inappropriately vague”.
Another case involved nudity. An Instagram user in Brazil posted pictures of women’s nipples as part of a message to educate people about breast cancer. It was removed, but the board said Thursday that those five photos should be allowed given Facebook’s own exception for breast cancer awareness.
The board said that more than 150,000 cases have been appealed to the panel since it began taking cases last October.
“Since we can’t hear every call, we prioritize cases that have the potential to affect many users around the world, are critical to public discourse, or raise important questions about Facebook’s policies,” it said in one Statement by the board.
Facebook’s board of directors is charged with making final decisions on complaints about what can be removed or left on the world‘s largest social network.
Cases of Nazi propaganda, hate speech, nudity, pandemic misinformation and dangerous persons or organizations are considered.
The panel launched late last year amid growing concerns about misinformation and manipulation related to the US presidential election.
The board was formed at the urging of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with the power to override him and other top executives.
Facebook has agreed to be bound by decisions about complaints, but decisions only apply to cases in question and do not set precedents.
Members of the Supervisory Board come from different countries, including lawyers, human rights activists, journalists, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a former Danish Prime Minister.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)