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Facebook or Instagram users can now appeal content to the self-styled Oversight Board which they want to be removed. For now, users could only appeal to have content restored to the platform after it had been removed by Facebook moderators.

Content eligible for appeal to the board still includes posts/statuses, photos, videos, comments, and shares.

“The Board will use its independent judgment to decide what to leave up and what to take down. Our decisions will be binding on Facebook,” the Oversight Board said in a statement on Tuesday.

From today, this option is being rolled out and will be available to all users over the coming weeks. This phased approach is important for ensuring there are no technical issues with the new functionality available to users and is a standard part of releasing any new product or feature.

In its first six months, the Oversight Board has begun publishing decisions on a wide range of highly significant content issues, including the ‘Zwarte Piet’ decision released today.

It has received more than 300,000 user appeals and thousands of public comments.

Facebook has also responded to our recommendations and referred a high-profile case on former US President Donald Trump. While we know there is more to do, these are strong foundations for reshaping Facebook’s approach to content moderation in the long-term, said the board.

“Today’s expansion of the Board’s powers marks another significant milestone,” it added.

 

“Over the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out the ability for all users to appeal content they want removed from Facebook and Instagram.”

As with all Facebook products, we will be rolling out the ability to appeal content left up to the Oversight Board to people across the world in waves to ensure stability of the product experience for users, Guy Rosen, VP of Integrity at Facebook, wrote in the company’s blog.

“We expect everyone on Facebook and Instagram to be able to appeal content left up over the coming weeks.

“We will continue to work to expand the board’s scope over time and we will provide further updates as we do so.”

Privacy

To protect the privacy of those appealing to the board, the board will only include details that could easily identify a reporter in the board’s written explanation if the reporter has given permission to do so. To learn more about the steps that are taken to remove details that can easily identify reporters and others, refer to the data policy.

How does it work?

After you have exhausted Facebook’s appeals process, you will receive an Oversight Board Reference ID in your support inbox and can appeal the decision to the Board. You can appeal decisions on posts and statuses, as well as photos, videos, comments and shares.

As content will be live on Facebook and Instagram, many people will be able to report the same piece of content. In these cases, multiple user appeals will be gathered into a single case file for the Board. As multiple users can report the same content, this means the Board may consider multiple submissions from users on a single case. To protect the privacy of those appealing to the Board, we will only include details in our decisions that could easily identify the person who reported the content if they have given permission for us to do so.

 

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