Facebook to detail its “satire exception” in content moderation

Illustration for the article titled Facebook to Clarify Its 'Satire Exception' for Content Moderation

Photo: Josh Edelson / AFP (Getty Images)

Facebook has announced that it will add information to its community standards about its so-called satire exception when moderating content. The change was made in response to a recent decision of its supervisory board which obliged him to re-establish a commentary with an adaptation of the meme “two buttons” commenting on Turkey’s response to the Armenian genocide.

This week in a news announcement on the case, Facebook said updating the information would allow teams to consider satire when assessing potential hate speech violations, which was the problem in question with the same two buttons. The company said the update will be complete by the end of the year. Facebook is only fully implementing the board’s recommendation on the satire exception and evaluating the feasibility of the other recommendations made on the basis of the case.

In response to one of the other board recommendations, which advised Facebook to ensure it has adequate procedures in place to “properly assess satirical content and relevant context, including providing moderators content of additional resources ”, the company revealed that it is already working on a new satire framework for its regional and climbing teams. However, it is currently determining how to “apply this review on a large scale”.

Facebook said that stakeholders, ranging from academic experts and journalists to comedians and representatives of satirical publications,he was engaged with for his framework emphasized that humor and satire are very subjective depending on people and cultures. The company was also told that it was important to institute a humane examination of humor and satire by people with cultural content.

“Given the contextual nature of satire, we are not immediately able to extend this type of additional rating or consultation to our content moderators,” Facebook said. “We need time to assess the potential trade-offs between identifying and escalating more content that may benefit from our satire exception, versus prioritizing escalations for the highest severity policies, increasing the amount of content that would be escalating and potentially slower review times among our moderating content.

The comment with the meme was posted by a Facebook user in the US in December 2020. While some may scratch their heads at the description of the “two button” meme, like yours, there’s a good chance you’ve seen it. Created by Jake Clark in 2014, the meme features a horizontal split-screen cartoon: the top screen is an image of a hand ready to click one of the two red buttons, while the bottom features a cartoon character with the hand on. head sweating on the button to choose.

People regularly adapt the meme with crazy, silly, benign text on each of the buttons. Memerino Highlights some great ones such as “eat a turkey” and “eat a ham”; “Infinite power” and “the Marvel superheroes; or “add more Easter eggs” and “create more games” to name a few.

In this case, as described by the Supervisory Board, the US Facebook user replaced the cartoon character’s face on the lower split screen with a Turkish flag. In the split screen above, the user included two choices: “The Armenian Genocide is a lie” and “The Armenians were terrorists who deserved it”. The meme was preceded and followed by the thinking face emoji, the board said.

According to the Supervisory Board, Facebook said it deleted the comment because the phrase “Armenians were terrorists who deserved it.” contained claims that Armenians were criminals because of their nationality and ethnicity, which violates the company’s community standard on hate speech. Facebook also claimed that the meme was not covered by an exception that allows users to share hateful content to condemn or raise awareness, as the cartoon character could be seen as “condemning or embracing the two statements in the even”.

However, the majority of Facebook’s supervisory board disagreed and found that the meme was covered by this exception, overturning the company’s decision on the matter.

“The ‘two buttons’ meme contrasts two different options not to support them, but to highlight potential contradictions. As such, [the majority of the board] found that the user was sharing the meme to raise awareness and condemn the Turkish government’s efforts to deny the Armenian genocide while justifying these same historic atrocities, ”the board said in a press announcement in May. “The majority also believed that the content could be covered by the Facebook satire exception, which is not included in the community standards.”

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