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Facebook Oversight Board picks up another Indian case, deletion of post decrying RSS, BJP

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Facebook’s Oversight Board, which the company set up as an independent appeals body for content moderation decisions, picked up a second case from India on Tuesday. “In November 2020, a user shared a post from Punjabi-language online media platform Global Punjab TV with accompanying text, claiming that the Hindu nationalist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are threatening the Sikhs with genocide,” the Board said in a summary of the events that led to the appeal.

Facebook removed that post, which said that “Sikhs in India should be on high alert and that Sikh regiments in the army have warned Prime Minister Modi of their willingness to die to protect the Sikh farmers and their land in Punjab”, under its Community Standard on Dangerous Individuals and Organizations. The company later reinstated the post, though, saying the removal was an enforcement error.

“The user suggested that Facebook should take down content that violates Facebook’s Community Standards and only restrict accounts when users engage in threatening, criminal or misleading activities,” the Board said. The complainant’s account has been restricted from posting due to this content, and they have asked the Oversight Board to order Facebook to restore their control over the account.

The Oversight Board said that the other case from India, concerning a post demanding a boycott of French products with violent imagery, would be decided in the coming weeks as well.

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