Case on Punjabi concern over the RSS in India

UPDATED

JUN 18, 2021

On March 2, 2021, the Oversight Board selected a case appealed by someone on Facebook regarding a post with a video from Global Punjab TV and accompanying text claiming the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and members of the Indian government are threatening Sikhs with violence.

Upon initial review, the Facebook company took down this content for violating our policy on dangerous individuals and organizations, as laid out in the Facebook Community Standards. However, upon further review, we determined we removed this content in error and reinstated it.

Case decision

On April 29, 2021, the board overturned Facebook's decision on this case. Facebook previously reinstated this content as it did not violate our policies and was removed in error so no further action will be taken on this content.

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

Recommendations

The board issued their binding decision for this case last month overturning our initial decision in this case. At that time the board also issued three non-binding recommendations, which we are responding to in the table below.

On May 27, 2021, Facebook responded to the board’s recommendation for this case.

Recommendation 1 (committed to action)

Facebook should translate its Community Standards and Internal Implementation Standards into Punjabi. Facebook should aim to make its Community Standards accessible in all languages widely spoken by its users.

Our commitment: We’ll publish the Facebook Community Standards and the Instagram Community Guidelines in Punjabi by the end of the year. We also are assessing translating the Community Standards and Community Guidelines to Urdu and other Indic languages.

Considerations: We currently publish the Community Standards and Community Guidelines in over 40 languages. Our content reviewers have access to the many languages our Community Standards are in. They also are supported by teams with regional and linguistic expertise when reviewing content. We’re reviewing our process for determining which languages our external policy resources and product experiences will be available in. We’ll consider multiple factors, such as how many users speak a given language.

Next steps: We’ll publish the Community Standards and Community Guidelines in Punjabi by the end of the year, and are exploring publishing them in other Indic languages.

Recommendation 2 (committed to action)

The company should restore human review and access to a human appeals process to pre-pandemic levels as soon as possible while fully protecting the health of Facebook’s staff and contractors.

Our commitment: Facebook will restore its human review capacity to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels when it’s safe to do so, in accordance with any local restrictions.

Considerations: We’ve been working to restore our human review capacity. As part of that process, we must assess, on a region-by-region basis, local restrictions, and the current COVID-19 conditions, among other factors.

Next steps: We’re working to restore human review to pre-pandemic levels, taking into account local restrictions and region-by-region COVID-19 conditions. We’re also exploring how better to prioritize human review of appeals of our decisions.

Recommendation 3 (assessing feasibility)

Facebook should improve its transparency reporting to increase public information on error rates by making this information viewable by country and language for each Community Standard.

Our commitment: We're continuing to identify appropriate accuracy metrics to include in the Community Standards Enforcement Report, and are assessing how to report consistent, comprehensive data.

Considerations: There are several challenges to sharing data about enforcement actions broken down by region and country that we’re currently assessing. For example, bad actors might create fake accounts to mask the country in which they’re located. And use VPN to appear as though they’re in one location while operating from another. Also, if someone in one country posts content about another country, it’s difficult to classify which country the violation is related to. For Groups and Pages, determining the country and region is challenging because it involves information such as — the location of its members, administrators and those who viewed the content.

Next steps: We’re assessing how to report consistent, comprehensive data that allow for meaningful transparency while also ensuring accuracy of the information. We’ll provide additional information after we complete our assessment.