Oversight Board Selects Case Regarding A Video of a Speech from the Cambodian Prime Minister


MAY 3, 2023

Today, the Oversight Board selected a case referred by Meta regarding a video posted by the Facebook page of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen that contains a lengthy speech given by the Prime Minister. The speech covered a wide range of topics including the country’s relationship with China as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and included statements made by the Prime Minister offering to some a choice between legal action or physical force. These statements were understood as statements of intent to commit violence against political opponents.

Upon initial review, Meta marked this content as non-violating. However, upon additional review, we determined that the content violated our Violence and Incitement policy, as laid out in the Facebook Community Standards, but decided that the newsworthiness allowance applies and left the content up.

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

Meta prohibits threats of violence on our platforms in order to prevent potential offline harm. This includes “threats that lead to serious injury” or “statements of intent to commit violence.” However, a newsworthiness allowance may be granted when the content has high public interest value, particularly when it may warn of future government action and outweighs the risk of harm.

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.