Oversight Board Selects Case About a Video Depicting Sexual Harassment in India


DEC 14, 2022

Today, the Oversight Board selected a case, which was referred by Meta, about Meta’s decision to leave up a video depicting a woman in India being harassed by a group of men. The text accompanying the Instagram post states that a “tribal woman” was sexually assaulted and harassed by a group of men in public. The Instagram account on which the video was posted describes its goal as “sharing stories from a Dalit’s desk.”

Meta initially took the content down for violating our policy against Adult Sexual Exploitation. Upon further review, however, we decided that the post was newsworthy and reinstated it for users over 18 with a warning screen.

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 usually removes content “that depicts, threatens or promotes sexual violence, sexual assault or sexual exploitation.” However, this case demonstrates the challenge in striking the appropriate balance between allowing content that condemns sexual exploitation and the harm in allowing visual depictions of sexual harassment to remain on our platforms.

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 to uphold our decision on this case. Meta previously reinstated this content as we decided that the post was newsworthy, so no further action will be taken on this content.

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