Case on Armenians in Azerbaijan

UPDATED

JUN 1, 2021

On December 1, 2020, the Oversight Board selected a case appealed by someone on Facebook regarding historical photos purportedly showing churches in Baku and a caption indicating disdain for Azerbaijani people and support for Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

The Facebook company took down this content for violating our policy on hate speech, as laid out in the Facebook Community Standards. We do not allow hate speech on Facebook because it creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion, and in some cases, may promote real-world violence.

Case decision

On January 28, 2021, The board decided to uphold Facebook’s decision so we have taken no further action related to this case or the content.

Recommendations

On February 25, 2021, Facebook responded to the board’s recommendation for this case. We are still assessing the feasibility of the recommendation.

Recommendation 1 (assessing feasibility)

Go beyond the Community Standard that Facebook is enforcing, and add more specifics about what part of the policy they violated.

Our commitment: We will continue to explore how best to provide transparency to people about enforcement actions, within the limits of what is technologically feasible.

Considerations: Over the past several years, we’ve invested in improving the experiences for people when we remove their content, and we have teams dedicated to continuing to improve these. As part of this work, we updated our notifications to inform people under which Community Standard a post was taken down (for example, Hate Speech, Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity, etc.), but we agree with the board that we’d like to provide more.

When a content reviewer reviews a post and determines it violates a policy, they often provide some additional data to our systems about the type of violation, but not always to the granularity of each line in the policy. Additionally, when we build technology to take automated action, it is often at the level of a policy area (e.g., Hate Speech) as it is not technologically feasible to create separate AI systems for each individual line in the policy. We understand the benefit in additional detail and will continue to explore how best to provide additional transparency.

Next steps: Our teams will continue to explore potential ways to address this challenge. We will provide updates with any future developments..