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 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 (5/27/21)
    • "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)
  • Facebook response to recommendations (6/25/21)
    • Committed to "implementing fully" 1/6 recommendations, "implementing in part" 2/3 recommendations, "assessing feasibility" on 3/6 recommendations

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)
  • Facebook response to recommendations (6/17/21)
    • Committed to "implementing fully" 1/5 recommendations, "assessing feasibility" on 4/5 recommendations

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)
  • Oversight Board decision (7/8/21)
  • Public comments synopsis (7/8/21)
  • Facebook response to recommendations (8/6/21)
    • Committed to "implementing fully" 6/12 recommendations, "implementing in part" 2/12 recommendations, "assessing feasibility" on 1/12 recommendations, "no further action" on 1/12 recommendations; 2/12 recommendations deemed "work that Facebook already does"

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

 

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)
  • Oversight Board decision (8/19/21)
  • Public comments synopsis (8/19/21)
  • Facebook response to recommendations (9/17/21)
    • Committed to "fully implementing" 1/3 recommendations; 2/3 recommendations deemed "work that Facebook already does"
 

2021-009-FB-UA (Al Jazeera Post on Israel & Palestine Case)

  • This case concerns a post from a verified Al Jazeera news page about escalating violence in Israel and Palestine, consisting of a photo of individuals wearing Hamas military insignia with text in Arabic that stated, "'He Who Warns is Excused.' Al-Qassam Brigades military spokesman threatens the occupation forces if they do not withdraw from Al-Aqsa Mosque." It was appealed by the user after Facebook initially removed the post for violating its Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Community Standard; after the Board asked Facebook to confirm the eligibility of this post for review, Facebook identified the removal as an enforcement error and restored the content.
  • Oversight Board description (6/30/21)
  • Facebook statement (6/30/21)
  • Oversight Board decision (9/14/21)
  • Public comments synopsis (9/14/21)
  • Facebook response to recommendations (10/14/21)
    • Committed to "fully implementing" 1/4 recommendations, "implementing in part" 1/4 recommendations, "assessing feasibility" on 2/4 recommendations

2021-010-FB-UA (Protests in Colombia Case)

2021-011-FB-UA (Slurs to Discuss Situation in South Africa Case)

2021-012-FB-UA (Indigenous Art and Kamloops School Case)

  • This case concerns a picture posted to Facebook of Indigenous artwork, with accompanying text referencing the Kamloops story about unmarked graves at a former residential school for First Nations children in Canada.  It was appealed by the user after Facebook removed the post for violating its Hate Speech policy; after the Board selected the case, Facebook identified the removal as an enforcement error and restored the content.
  • Oversight Board description (9/16/21)
  • Facebook statement (9/16/21)
  • Oversight Board decision (12/9/21)
  • Public comments synopsis (12/9/21)
  • Meta response to recommendations (1/7/22)
    • Committed to "implementing fully" 1/3 recommendations, "assessing feasibility" on 1/3 recommendations, 1/3 recommendations deemed "work Meta already does"

2021-013-IG-UA (Ayahuasca Case)

  • This case concerns a picture posted to Instagram of a jarred liquid with accompanying text describing the substance as ayahuasca and stating that it is a "remedy" that "can help you." It was appealed by the user after Facebook removed the content for violating Instagram's Community Guidelines on Regulated Goods.
  • Oversight Board description (9/16/21)
  • Facebook statement (9/16/21)
  • Oversight Board decision (12/9/21)
  • Public comments synopsis (12/9/21)
  • Meta response to recommendations (1/7/22)
    • Committed to "implementing fully" 1/3 recommendations, "implementing in part" 1/3 recommendations, "assessing feasibility" on 1/3 recommendations

2021-014-FB-UA (Violence in Tigray Case)

  • This case concerns text posted to Facebook in July 2021 alleging that the Tigray People's Liberation Front killed and raped women and children. It was appealed by the user after Facebook removed the post for violating its Hate Speech Community Standard; after the Board selected the case, Facebook identified the removal as an enforcement error and restored the content.
  • Oversight Board description (9/16/21)
  • Facebook statement (9/16/21)
  • Oversight Board decision (12/14/21)
  • Public comments synopsis (12/14/21)
  • Meta response to recommendations (1/13/22)
    • Committed to "implementing in part" 1/3 recommendations, "assessing feasibility on 1/3 recommendations," "no further action" on 1/3 recommendations

2021-015-FB-UA (Advice on Pharmaceutical Drugs Case)

  • This case concerns text posted to a private Facebook group for adults with ADHD in which a user requested advice for speaking to a doctor about specific prescription drugs. It was appealed by the user after Facebook removed the post for violating its Regulated Goods Community Standard; after the Board selected the case, Facebook identified the removal as an enforcement error and restored the content.
  • Oversight Board description (11/2/21)
  • Facebook statement (11/2/21)

2021-016-FB-FBR (Journalism on Sexual Violence Case)

  • This case concerns text posted to Facebook by a Swedish journalist describing sexual violence against minors. The post was originally reported in 2019, at which point Facebook found the content to be non-violating. Facebook later removed the post for violating its Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Nudity Community Standard after the content was flagged again in 2021, at which point Facebook referred the case to the board.
  • Oversight Board description (11/2/21)
  • Facebook statement (11/2/21)

2021-017-FB-UA (Taliban and Afghanistan Case)

  • This case concerns text posted to Facebook in August 2021 in support of the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan. It was appealed by the user after Facebook removed the post for violating its Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Community Standard; after the Board selected the case, Facebook identified the removal as an enforcement error and restored the content.
  • Oversight Board description (11/2/21)
  • Facebook statement (11/2/21)