Iranian Woman Confronted on Street


MAR 7, 2024

Standard Case 2023-032-IG-UA

Today, November 16, 2023, the Oversight Board selected a case appealed by an Instagram user regarding a video of an unveiled Iranian woman being confronted by a man who identifies himself as a judicial officer and accuses the woman of being a criminal for failing to wear a hijab. The video is accompanied by a caption which shares that the video is “evidence of your bastardness and the courage of Iranian women,” and that “It is not far to make you into pieces.”

Upon initial review, Meta took down this content for violating our policy on Violence and Incitement, as laid out in our Instagram Community Guidelines and Facebook Community Standards. However, upon additional review, we determined we removed this content in error and reinstated the post. Additional input from our regional teams, as well as the Board’s intervening decision in the Call for Women to Join Political Protest in Cuba Case, helped us to determine that the most likely interpretation of the language in the caption was a political critique directed toward either the regime as a whole or people who support the mandatory hijab requirement more generally, rather than a literal threat.

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, March 7, 2024, on this case. The Board overturned Meta’s original decision to remove the content from Instagram. Meta previously restored the content to Instagram.

When it is technically and operationally possible to do so, we will also take action on content that is identical and in the same context.

After conducting a review of the recommendation provided by the Board, we will update this page.