Facebook will add ‘satire exception’ to its community standards

Facebook says it will update its community standards to clarify how it deals with satirical content based on the recommendations of the oversight board. The change goes back to a case involving a user posting a meme satirizing “the Turkish government’s efforts to deny the Armenian genocide.”

Facebook originally removed the post citing its anti-hate speech rules, but reintroduced it after the board of directors said the company was wrong in removing the post. In its decision, the board noted that Facebook previously stated that it makes exceptions to its rules for some satirical content, but that policy is not described in its official guidelines. Facebook now says it will do more to clarify how it deals with satire.

“We will add information to the community standards that makes it clear where we consider satire as part of our assessment of contextual decisions,” Facebook wrote in an update. “This change will allow teams to take satire into account when assessing potential hate speech violations.”

The promise to update the language of its community standards is the only firm commitment Facebook has made in this case. The board made several other recommendations, including that users should be able to cite exceptions to Facebook’s hate speech rules when appealing a moderation decision. Facebook said it is “testing the feasibility” of these and other recommendations. The company said it is “developing a framework for evaluating humor and satire,” but that such a process may be difficult to apply to all of its content moderators.

It’s not the first time Facebook has changed its rules in response to the board of directors. The company had previously clarified its rules on hate speech on the advice of the board of directors. And the company agreed to withdraw some aspects of its “newsworthiness” policy, which allowed politicians to break its rules.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team independently of our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Leave a Comment