The Oversight Board has evaluated the use of a protest slogan used by Iranian dissidents, calling for "marg bar Khamenei", which literally translates as "death to Khamenei", yet is often used to mean "down with Khamenei". Meta removed it for violating its community standards against violence and incitement. At EU level, Art. 14(4) DSA provides for an unprecedented obligation, which requires social media platforms to act in a proportionate manner in applying and enforcing their terms and conditions, with due regard to the rights and legitimate interests of all parties involved. Examining the Oversight Board's reasoning, we explore how Art. 14(4) DSA would be operationalized in this case.
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On 6 December, Meta's Oversight Board issued a policy advisory opinion on 'cross-check', a content moderation system used by the company to avoid the erroneous removal of content shared by highly influential users on its platforms. Despite the opinion’s directness in calling Meta out for the disproportionate attention paid to corporate interests to the detriment of its human rights commitments, the OB’s decision presents an underlying duplicity, as it criticises policy and design choices replicated in the OB’s own architecture. This curtails the institution's capacity to enhance accountability and legitimacy. Continue reading >>
Elon Musk, Twitter’s conspicuous new owner, famously spoke out against Trump's deplatforming, raising concerns that he could undo it upon gaining control of the social media platform. Mr. Musk was quick to dispel these fears. He first reassured advertisers that he has no plans to relax content moderation standards. In addition, he announced that the reactivation of banned accounts is s Anyone feeling a sense of déjà vu? Continue reading >>
Over the past years, Facebook as well as other online platforms faced constant criticism and pressure from civil society, lawmakers, and governments regarding their role in content moderation. As a response, Facebook for the last two years sought a way to handle the decision-making process in a more transparent, accountable, and fair way, while at the same time diverting responsibility from itself and its CEO and sole controller, Mark Zuckerberg. Now, it finally rolls out its plan for an independent Oversight Board, also referred by some, including Mark Zuckerberg, as a “Supreme Court”. Major questions arise as to its mandate, the establishment of global free speech standards and the reactions of national courts. Continue reading >>