Facebook to add ‘satire exception’ to community standards

Facebook says so its community standards to clarify how it treats satirical content in response to the recommendations of the Supervisory Board. The change comes from involving a user who posted a satirical meme “The Turkish Government’s Efforts to Deny the Armenian Genocide”.

Facebook initially deleted the post, citing its anti-hate speech rules, but reinstated it after the Supervisory Board said the company was wrong to withdraw the post. In its decision, the Supervisory Board that Facebook has previously indicated that it makes exceptions to its rules for certain satirical content, but this policy is not described in its official guidelines. Now Facebook says it will do more to clarify how it handles satire.

“We will add information to community standards that will make it clear where we consider satire as part of our assessment of context-specific decisions,” Facebook wrote in an update. “This change will allow teams to take satire into account when assessing potential hate speech violations.”

The promise to update the language of its community standards is the only firm commitment made by Facebook as a result of this affair. The board made several other recommendations, including that users should be able to cite exceptions to Facebook’s hate speech rules when appealing a moderation decision. Facebook said it is “assessing the feasibility” of this recommendation and others. The company said it was “developing a framework for evaluating humor and satire,” but that such a process might be difficult to scale to all of its content moderators.

This is not the first time that Facebook has changed its rules in response to the Supervisory Board. The company previously clarified its on the advice of the board. And the company has agreed to revisit certain aspects of its that allowed politicians to break its rules.

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