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Facebook to consider satirical content when judging hate speech violations

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What you need to know

  • Facebook is adding how it handles satirical content in its community standards page.
  • Decision comes after Oversight Board reviewed a comment that Facebook initially took down for violating community standards.
  • The board recommended several points, and Facebook is assessing whether or not to adopt them.

Facebook is updating its community standards page to clarify when posts are considered satirical when "assessing potential Hate Speech violations."

The decision to do so came after a user posted a meme satirizing "the Turkish government's efforts to deny the Armenian genocide." Facebook took the post down, citing the post broke its rules but reinstated the post following a review from the Oversight Board.

The board said the company was wrong to pull the post and noted that Facebook had previous issues determining when a post is considered satirical.

"Facebook has acted to comply with the board's decision immediately, and this content has been reinstated," Facebook said. "We'll add information to the Community Standards that makes it clear where we consider satire as part of our assessment of context-specific decisions. ...This change will allow teams to consider satire when assessing potential Hate Speech violations."

This is the only recommendation that Facebook acted on after the board's review. The others include that users should be able to cite exceptions to Facebook's hate speech rules when appealing. Facebook said that it was "assessing feasibility" of the recommendations the board put out.

Facebook had previously come under fire for its content moderation policies, particularly during the 2020 presidential election. Both sides of the political spectrum argued that the social platform either took it too far or not far enough.

The updated community standards come just after Facebook introduced new tools for group admins to better monitor their communities.

Shruti Shekar
Managing Editor

Shruti Shekar is Android Central's managing editor. She was born in India, brought up in Singapore, but now lives in Toronto and couldn't be happier. She started her journalism career as a political reporter in Ottawa, Canada's capital, and then made her foray into tech journalism at MobileSyrup and most recently at Yahoo Finance Canada. When work isn't on her mind, she loves working out, reading thrillers, watching the Raptors, and planning what she's going to eat the next day.

12 Comments
  • Any satirical content involving parmesan cheese and Hunter Biden will still be banned of course
  • Of course they are. Because that is one of the few ways in which people can still express themselves. So naturally Facebook will now decide what is funny and what is not... because who wouldn't want Mark Zuckerberg to do that? Yay tech overlords!
  • Lmao...so corny
  • Yep. Losing your freedom is always funny...
  • Oh please... what freedoms have you lost? Seriously?
  • If you have to ask and can't see for yourself and recognize the signs...that says quite a lot. It is said that the price for eternal peace is eternal vigilance... but clearly that doesn't mean anything to you. Good luck to you... because you'll need it...
  • End of freedom of speech and humour now the thought police have there way, probably time to delete it.
  • More like everyone is entitled today. I'm entitled to MaH FReeDoM! Man, y'all don't know what loss of freedom is. 🤣🤣
  • Since I am in the middle of a 30 day ban right now, for "threats of violence", because I said "IF I get into a fight, I will kick a person in the shins". I of course complained they took the comment out of context, and of course they(FB) still banned me. Having an "oversight" board, and being able to ignore their recommendations means the board is useless, it gives the appearance of another step for users to get back off restrictions, without Zuckerberg actually having to do anything. Until they decide Facebook can be held liable for their decisions regarding users content, and face the threat of a class action lawsuit, this is all theater.....
  • No thanks. I can post all the satire I want on Gab, without the blessing of any thought police; it's been so liberating. I hope Apple continues to tighten the screws on FB, because that site deserves to die.
  • Left Facebook and Instagram months ago to boycott their BS, never looked back.
  • Fail to understand why anyone, would be on facebook, twitter, or any of the other small minded social decease programs. And yes, that includes the previous president; however, he is no longer on these moronic programs, but he would be if he could be.