Oversight Board Selects a Case Regarding a Video of an Edited Cartoon Depicting a Croatian City

UPDATED

JUN 17, 2022

Today, the Oversight Board selected a case appealed by a Facebook user regarding a video depicting an edited version of a Disney cartoon, “The Pied Piper,” posted by a Facebook page that describes itself as a news portal. The video depicts the Croatian city of Knin as being overrun by rats who are driven out by a piper from the Croatian village of Čavoglave playing a well-known Western Balkans’ folk song.

Upon initial review, we found the content to be non-violating and it was left up. However, upon further review, we determined the post did in fact violate our policy on Hate Speech, as laid out in the Facebook Community Standards, and removed it. Meta takes down content that targets a person or group of people based on their race, ethnicity and/or national origin with “dehumanizing speech or imagery in the form of comparisons, generalizations, or unqualified behavioral statements (in written or visual form) to or about: animals that are culturally perceived as intellectually or physically inferior.” In light of the case’s historical context, we determined the content contained a direct attack by comparing Serbians to rats.

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 overturned Meta’s original decision to leave the content on the platform. However, as Meta ultimately removed the content, no further action will be taken.

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