According to a blog post, Facebook will update its Facebook community standards in response to a recommendation from its Oversight Board.
According to the post, “we will add information to the Facebook Community Standards that clarifies when satire is considered as part of our evaluation of context-specific decisions.” Using satire as a tool in determining potential violations of Hate Speech will now be possible.
The update comes after the Oversight Board determined that Facebook made a mistake by removing a user’s comment with a reference to the Turkish government, which was based on a meme of two buttons. It was described as follows:
The meme used the same split-screen cartoon as the original, but replaced the face of the cartoon character with a Turkish flag. Cartoon character appears to be sweating and has an arm over their head. The meme was preceded and followed by the emoji “thinking face,” which can be seen above the cartoon character in the other half of the split screen: “The Armenian Genocide was a lie” and “The Armenians were terrorists who deserved it.”.
The post was removed by Facebook citing the Cruel and Insensitive Facebook Community Standards, which states that hateful, insensitive, or abusive posts will be removed, including memes and gifs. The removal was later categorized under the Hate Speech Community Standard by Facebook.
A new version of Facebook community standards will clarify what is considered satire
Despite Facebook’s commitment to give satire an exception, the Oversight Board noted that it does not specify in its guidelines when or how satire is defined. Furthermore, Facebook said it would review similar content with parallel context and may take further action, in addition to making its guidelines and policies clearer about satire.
Facebook has once more followed the guidance of its newly-formed Oversight Board. Facebook announced in early May that it would be discontinuing its so-called “newsworthiness” policy, a policy that allowed politicians to skirt its content restrictions.
In a blog post, Facebook’s Nick Clegg stated that it will not treat any post by politicians differently from any other post.