Case Documents

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The Oversight Board uses a docket number system somewhat akin to that used in U.S. federal courts. The docket numbers reveal the year the Oversight Board accepted the case, the number ordinal number of the case, the platform that the content in question appeared on (Facebook ("FB") or Instagram ("IG")) and whether the case reached the board by way of a user appeal ("UA") or a direct referral from Facebook ("FBR"). Below are brief descriptions of the cases and links to relevant documents, all organized by docket number.

2020-001-FB-UA (Malaysian Public Figure Case)

  • This case is no longer available to be reviewed by the board. It dealt with a user comment on a post and was mooted after a user deleted the original post to which the comment replied. The case concerned statements made by a former Malaysian Prime Minister about violence against French people. The case was appealed by a user after Facebook removed the content for violation of the platform’s Hate Speech policy.
  • Oversight Board description
  • Facebook statement

2020-002-FB-UA (Myanmar Hate Speech Case)

2020-003-FB-UA (Armenians in Azerbaijan Case)

2020-004-IG-UA (Breast Cancer Symptoms & Nudity Case)

2020-005-FB-UA (Nazi Quote Case)

2020-006-FB-FBR (Hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and COVID-19 case)

  • This case concerns a video and accompanying text posted within a Facebook group that were related to COVID-19 and the French agency responsible for regulating health products. It was appealed by a user after Facebook removed the content for violating the platform’s Violence and Incitement Policy. After the user appealed the removal and prior to FOB ruling, Facebook identified it as an enforcement error and restored the content.
  • Oversight Board description
  • Facebook statement
  • Oversight Board decision
  • Public comments synopsis
  • Facebook response to recommendations
    • "Committed to action" on 6/7 recommendations, "no further action" on 1/6 recommendations

2020-007-FB-FBR (Threat to Emmanuel Macron Case)

2021-001-FB-FBR (Trump Suspension Case)

  • This case concerns two pieces of content posted on former U.S. President Donald Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts after rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. It was referred by Facebook after the platform removed the posts and subsequently suspended Trump indefinitely for violating its policy on Dangerous Individuals and Organizations and using the platform to "incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government."
  • Oversight Board description
  • Facebook statement
  • Compiling public comments on the Trump suspension case

2021-002-FB-UA (Zwarte Piet Case)

  • This case concerns a video and accompanying text in Dutch depicting a child meeting  adults dressed as 'Sinterklaas' or 'Saint Nicholas' and 'Zwarte Piet,' or 'Black Pete.' It was appealed by a user after Facebook removed the content for violating its policy on Hate Speech.
  • Oversight Board description
  • Facebook statement

2021-003-FB-UA (Modi & Indian Sikhs Case)

  • This case concerns a Punjabi-language video and accompanying text claiming that a Hindu nationalist organization and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are threatening to massacre Sikhs. It was appealed by a user after Facebook removed the content for violating its policy on Hate Speech.  After the user appealed the removal and prior to FOB ruling, Facebook identified it as an enforcement error and restored the content.
  • Oversight board description
  • Facebook statement

2021-004-FB-UA (Navalny Protests Case)

  • This case concerns an exchange of comments between two users regarding one user's first-hand experience at the January 2021 protests in Russia over opposition leader Alexei Navalny's jailing. User A called User B a "common cowardly bot" because User B criticized the protesters, leading User B to report the comment. It was appealed by User A after Facebook removed the comment for violating its policy on Bullying and Harrassmnent.
  • Oversight board description
  • Facebook statement

2021-005-FB-UA (Armenian Hate Speech Case)

  • This case concerns an English-language "two buttons" meme posted by a United States user that depicted a Turkish flag "choosing" between two buttons that were labeled "The Armenian Genocide is a lie" and "The Armenians were terrorists who deserved it." It was appealed by the user after Facebook removed the content, initially for violating its Cruel and Insentitive Community Standard; Facebook subsequently reclassified the removal to fall under its Hate Speech policy. 
  • Oversight board description
  • Facebook statement