India’s new social media rules.
“We see the oversight board as one part of the solution to content moderation issues around the world,” said the Facebook Oversight Board, which was created to review content takedowns on Facebook and Instagram based on user appeals and cases referred to it by the company. “The oversight board wasn’t designed to solve every issue with Facebook. Policymakers and regulators have a valuable role to play.”
In its first Indian case, the oversight board had in February overturned Facebook’s decision to remove a post under its “violence and incitement community standard”.
The board said Facebook has so far complied with all of its case decisions. “We do expect that as the work of the board becomes more widely known, user appeals will increase globally,” it said.
While releasing India’s new social media rules on Thursday, the government had said they substantially empower ordinary users of digital platforms to seek redressal for their grievances and command accountability from platforms in case of infringement of their rights.
The government said in cases where significant social intermediaries remove or disable access to any information on their own accord, then a prior intimation for the same has to be communicated to users who had shared that information with a notice explaining the grounds and reasons for such actions. Users must be provided an adequate and reasonable opportunity to dispute the action taken by the intermediary.
Responding to the new rules, Facebook had said on Thursday that the company has always been clear that it welcomes regulations that set guidelines for addressing today’s toughest challenges on the internet.
“Facebook is committed to people’s ability to freely and safely express themselves on our platforms. The details of rules like these matter, and we will carefully study the new rules that were just published,” a company spokesperson had said. “Facebook is an ally for India and the agenda of user safety and security is a critical one for our platforms.”
Releasing its first set of five case decisions last month, the oversight board had overturned four of Facebook’s decisions, upheld one and had issued nine policy recommendations to the firm. The board had said in several cases, its members questioned whether Facebook’s rules were clear enough for users to understand.