Facebook says it will revise its community standards to be clearer about how it handles satirical content, following a proposal from its Oversight Board, according to a blog post.
According to the post, “We’ll add material to the Community Standards that makes it clear where we consider satire in our review of context-specific decisions.” “With this update, teams will be able to take satire into account when evaluating potential Hate Speech violations.”
The change came after Facebook’s Oversight Board found that, based on the two buttons meme, it was incorrect to remove a user’s comment that made a reference to the Turkish government. It was described by the Oversight Board as follows:
The split-screen cartoon from the original meme was used in this meme, however, the cartoon character’s face was replaced with a Turkish flag.
The cartoon character appears to be sweating and has their right hand on their head. In the other half of the split-screen, above the cartoon character, there are two red buttons with English labels:
“The Armenian Genocide is a lie” and “The Armenians were terrorists who deserved it.” The “thinking face” emoji appeared before and after the meme.
Facebook took down the post, citing its Cruel and Insensitive Community Standard, which states that posts that target “victims of serious bodily or mental injury,” which includes memes and gifs, will be removed. The removal was then categorized by Facebook as falling under its Hate Speech Community Standard.
While Facebook has stated that it will make exceptions for satire, the Oversight Board noted in its report that the company’s guidelines do not explain how or what counts as satire. In a blog post, Facebook stated that, in addition to clarifying its parody policy, it would “initiate a review of identical content with parallel context,” and that it may take further action.
This is the latest example of Facebook acting on the advice of its inexperienced Oversight Board. Facebook announced earlier this month that it would discontinue its so-called “newsworthiness” policy, which allows politicians to circumvent several of the platform’s content standards.
According to Facebook’s Nick Clegg, the firm “will not treat content posted by politicians any differently than content uploaded by anyone else” in the future.