Oversight Board Selects a Case Regarding a Post Calling for Violence in Ethiopia


OCT 4, 2022

Today, the Oversight Board selected a case referred by Meta regarding a post by the Tigray Communications Affairs Bureau Facebook page calling for violence in Ethiopia. The post outlines losses suffered by Ethiopia's Federal National Defense Forces and calls for their troops to surrender to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and turn against the Ethiopian Prime Minister or face death. The page states that it is the official page of the communications bureau for a regional state in Ethiopia.

Upon initial review, after the post was reported by users and flagged by our own automated systems, we found the content to be non-violating and it was left up. However, when the content was flagged again by our crisis response team, further review determined the post did in fact violate Meta’s policy on Violence and Incitement and it was removed.

Meta referred this case to the board because we found it significant and difficult as it creates tension between our values of voice and safety.

Meta removes content that “incites or facilitates serious violence,” however, in this instance, doing so also requires removing official government speech that could be considered newsworthy.

We will implement the board’s decision once it has finished deliberating, and we will update this post accordingly. Please see the board’s website for the decision when they issue it.

Case decision

We welcome the Oversight Board’s decision today on this case. The board upheld Meta's decision to remove the content so we have taken no further action related to this case or the content.

After conducting a review of the recommendations provided by the board in addition to their decision, we will update this post.