The Facebook Supervisory Board has announced two new cases to take a closer look at. One of these cases is about a deleted Dutch video in which two men dressed as Zwarte Piet can be seen. The other case concerns the suspension of American former President Trump from the platform.
The Supervisory Board was set up in the autumn to assess tricky issues on Facebook. The platform presents it as a kind of appeal body: the cases dealt with have already been reviewed by Facebook or Instagram, after which a user has objected. Facebook can also offer business itself.
Since the founding of the council, 150,000 objections have been raised. The fact that the council is now picking out a Dutch case to judge is striking. There are usually issues on the agenda that serve a high social purpose and in which the pronunciation can affect the platforms policies. In the Dutch case, this concerns racism and exclusion. Facebook previously decided to delete posts with caricatural images of black people and Jews.
Facebook must follow statements
The board is now going to see if the video of 17 seconds, in which a child gives a hand to Saint Nicholas and one of the Black Piets, should remain removed. The user who published the video had complained to Facebook about the deletion. He argued that the video was meant for the child who was happy about it. In addition, the user stated that “color does not matter, because Zwarte Piet is an important figure for children”.
Facebook is obliged to respond to statements of the board. On the basis of the case, it can also advise on policy adjustments. Facebook does not have to follow those suggestions, but the company must respond to them.
Yesterday it was announced that in four of the first five cases that were reviewed, Facebook had erroneously deleted messages. The cases concerned posts in which hatred, nudity, dangerous persons and organisations and incitement to violence were addressed.