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Facebook Oversight Board overturns Facebook’s decision to remove post critical of Myanmar Coup

Established in 2020, the Facebook Oversight Board plays a crucial role in keeping a check on the platform's content moderation practices; the 20-member Board includes an Indian lawyer as well.  The Facebook Oversight Board ordered Facebook to reinstate a post by a user in Myanmar which was critical of the Myanmar coup, its regime, and its ties with China. The post was initially taken down since it violated Facebook’s hate speech community standards by purportedly targetting Chinese people; however, the Oversight Board found that the post did not target Chinese people but the Chinese state.  The Oversight Board also noticed that while the post had been viewed by half a million people and shared by over 6,000 people, no user had reported it. The public comments on the post also suggested that the overall tone of the post was a political discussion.  Facebook has a long history of struggle with moderation in Myanmar. It has also been accused of fomenting violence in Myanmar in the past. The social media platform was briefly blocked in the country after a military coup was declared in February and once restored, it instituted a number of emergency moderation measures. Since Facebook has been accused of censoring anti-coup groups, the role of Facebook’s Oversight Board becomes important. The Facebook Oversight Board is an independent body that was set up to keep a check on Facebook's moderation policies.  Why it matters? This particular case is crucial in highlighting the importance of context while enforcing hate speech policies…

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