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Important Rule On Dangerous Individuals Lost By Facebook For 3 Yrs

Important Rule On Dangerous Individuals Lost By Facebook For 3 Yrs
The independent oversight board at the social media company Facebook said that the company had "misplaced" its guidance on an important exemption to the rules on its platform on dangerous individuals and organizations for a period of three years.
An original removal by Facebook of an Instagram post that encouraged users to talk and discuss about the solitary confinement of Abdullah Ocalan, a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), was overturned by the oversight board, which was created by the company to rule on a small slice of contentious content decisions, the board said.
The social media company should have never removed the content, the board said. It however also added that after the case was selected by it, the company itself found that a relevant piece of its internal rules had "inadvertently not been transferred" to its new review system back in 2018.
That missing guidance essentially made an exception to the internal rules of Facebook about content removal and deletion which prevents users from supporting or praising individuals or organizations that the social media company designates as being dangerous and allows talks and discussions on the conditions of confinement.
There have been long standing scrutiny of the policies of Facebook about what it allows to be published on its platform and independent oversight board has also pointed out an apparent lack of transparency related to its rules.
The issue that Facebook had lost an important policy exemption for that long a period which could have led to other posts being similarly wrongly removed or taken down was a cause of concern for it, the independent oversight board said.
The guidance that was missing for three years was developed in 2017 partly because of concerns over the conditions under which Ocalan was imprisoned and the guidance was never shared with the policy team of the social media company.
There were no comments on the issue by a company spokeswoman and over how the guideline was lost.
A review of how it failed to transfer the guidance was being conducted by Facebook, the board said, but also added that it was not "technically feasible" for determining how many pieces of content were taken down during the time period when the guidance was not available.
Facebook had restored the content before the board's decision.
There have also been recommendations made by the board to Facebook to publish the results of its review, including descriptions of any other lost policies.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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