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Meta’s Oversight Board recommends stronger rules on gender-based violence

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Gender-based violence

Meta’s Oversight Board is urging the social media giant to strengthen its rules on gender-based violence following a controversial incident. The board’s first recommendation is to reverse a decision that allowed a Facebook post joking about domestic abuse to remain online. Additionally, the board is calling for new policies to crack down on content that “normalizes” gender-based violence by celebrating, justifying, or mocking it. To clarify its stance on harassment, Meta is urged to include serious physical injuries as “medical condition[s]” under its anti-harassment provisions.

The basis for these recommendations was a post from 2021, which appeared to make light of a woman’s domestic abuse in Iraq. The post featured a Syrian activist with a hashtag related to pro-women discussions. Although the content was reported three times in February of this year, Meta automatically closed the complaints without reviewing them. The Oversight Board had to step in and select the user’s appeal for review before the post was taken down.

One of the major concerns raised by the board is that Meta’s policies on harassment wouldn’t have applied to this post if the woman depicted were fictional or couldn’t be identified. The fact that the post remained untouched for two years and didn’t undergo a human review when initially reported suggests that Meta may not prioritize addressing such violations.

The Oversight Board’s recommendations carry significant weight, and Meta has adopted them in the past, though it has faced criticism for a lack of transparency and delays in sharing information. It remains to be seen how Meta will respond to these latest suggestions. The board has been actively advocating for changes in Meta’s approach, including reevaluating how the platform handles COVID-19 misinformation and promoting more inclusive rules on adult nudity. Notably, the panel even demanded the suspension of Cambodia’s Prime Minister from Facebook due to threats of violence against political opponents.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gender-based violence

1. What is Meta’s Oversight Board recommending?

Meta’s Oversight Board is recommending changes to the social media giant’s policies on gender-based violence. They want stronger rules against content that “normalizes” violence and clarification that anti-harassment provisions include serious physical injuries.

2. What prompted these recommendations?

The recommendations came in response to a 2021 Facebook post that made light of domestic abuse involving a Syrian activist. The post contained a hashtag used for pro-women discussions in Iraq and was initially not taken down despite being reported multiple times.

3. How did the Oversight Board address the controversial post?

The Oversight Board intervened and selected a user’s appeal for review, leading to the removal of the post by Meta.

4. What concerns does the Oversight Board have regarding Meta’s handling of gender-based violence?

The board is concerned that Meta’s policies wouldn’t have applied to the post if the woman depicted were fictional or unidentifiable, suggesting a lack of prioritization for this type of violation.

5. Has Meta accepted the Oversight Board’s recommendations in the past?

Meta has adopted Oversight Board recommendations before, but there have been criticisms of the company’s lack of transparency and delays in implementing changes.

6. What other issues has the Oversight Board addressed recently?

The board has also requested changes in Meta’s handling of COVID-19 misinformation and advocated for more inclusive rules on adult nudity. They even demanded the suspension of Cambodia’s Prime Minister from Facebook for threatening violence against political opponents.

7. Will Meta implement the recommendations?

The company’s response to the latest recommendations from the Oversight Board is yet to be confirmed.

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NewsJunkie23 August 2, 2023 - 4:41 pm

dat Iraq post was a total mess! So glad Oversight Board made Meta pull it down. Hope Meta listens to all their recommendations. #ChangeIsGood

Jessie86 August 2, 2023 - 8:59 pm

meta needs 2 tak dis seriously, omg! violence shud nt b normalized! gud 4 Oversight board 2 push 4 changes & protect users! #StopGenderViolence

SocialMediaLover August 2, 2023 - 10:00 pm

so, Meta’s got dis Oversight Board thingy & dey r recommendin stronger rules on gender violence, huh? Bout time! Hope dey act on it quick!

TechGeek42 August 2, 2023 - 11:53 pm

Oversight Board, Meta, Facebook… all dis gets confusing sometimes. But important issues like gender violence need 2 b taken seriously! #RulesNeeded


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