Case Documents

Take Me Back to the FOB Blog Home Page

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 chronologically by docket number. You can also sort by decided or pending cases by clicking the buttons below, or search for specific keywords to find relevant cases.

 Decided Cases Pending Cases

 

Policy Advisory Opinions

2021-001 PAO (Sharing of Residential Information)

  • This policy advisory opinion request concerns Facebook's policy on the sharing of residential information, specifically, when that information should be considered private and removed from the platform. Under Facebook's current Community Standard on Privacy Violations and Image Privacy Rights, users should not share "private information" about themselves or others, including "imagery that display(s) the external view of private residences."
  • Oversight Board description (6/15/21)
  • Facebook statement (6/15/21)

All Cases: 2020-Present

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 (12/1/20)
  • Facebook statement (12/1/20)

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 (12/1/20)
  • Facebook statement (12/1/20)
  • Oversight Board decision (1/28/21)
  • Public comments synopsis (1/28/21)
  • Facebook response to recommendations (2/25/21)
    • "Committed to action" on 6/7 recommendations, "no further action" on 1/6 recommendations

2020-007-FB-FBR (Veiled Threats Based on Religious Beliefs Case)

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

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

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 Dangerous Individuals and Organizations.  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 (2/9/21)
  • Facebook statement (2/9/21)
  • Oversight Board decision (4/29/21)
  • Public comments synopsis (4/29/21)
  • Facebook response to decision (6/1/21)
    • "Committed to action" on 2/3 recommendations, "assessing feasibility" on 1/3 recommendations

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 Harassment.
  • Oversight Board description (3/2/21)
  • Facebook statement (3/2/21)
  • Oversight Board decision (5/26/21)
  • Public comments synopsis (5/26/21)

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 Insensitive Community Standard; Facebook subsequently reclassified the removal to fall under its Hate Speech policy. 
  • Oversight Board description (3/2/21)
  • Facebook statement (3/2/21)
  • Oversight Board decision (5/20/21)
  • Public comments synopsis (5/20/21)

2021-006-IG-UA (PKK Founder Abdullah Ӧcalan Case)

  • This case concerns a picture posted to Instagram of Abdullah Ӧcalan, a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), with accompanying text urging users to discuss ending Ӧcalan's isolation in prison. It was appealed by the user after Facebook removed the post for violating Instagram's Community Guidelines on Dangerous Individuals and Organizations.
  • Oversight Board description (4/20/21)
  • Facebook statement (4/20/21)

2021-007-FB-UA (Situation in Myanmar & Profanity Case)

  • This case concerns text posted to Facebook criticizing the Myanmar military in the aftermath of the 2021 coup, with several terms that Facebook's translation identified as referring to China and possible profanity. It was appealed by the user after Facebook removed the post for violating its Hate Speech Community Standard.
  • Oversight Board description (5/20/21)
  • Facebook statement (5/20/21)

2021-008-FB-FBR (Brazilian Authority on COVID Lockdown Case)

  • This case concerns a written notice posted to Facebook by a Brazilian state-level medical authority claiming that lockdowns are ineffective and against the population's rights. It was not reported, nor removed from the platform, but Facebook referred the case to the board, stating that the content does not directly violate Facebook's policies, but could be removed under the Misinformation and Harm policy within Facebook's Violence and Incitement Community Standard.
  • Oversight Board description (6/2/21)
  • Facebook statement (6/2/21)