Meta Oversight Board Claims to Care About India — While Meta Whitewashes Rights Abuses In India — Oversight Board Playing “Whack a Mole”

Message to Oversight Board Members: “If you care about rights in India, and have any integrity about your role, you’ll act with courage and ask Meta to release its full HRIA.”

26 September — The Facebook/Meta Oversight Board today asked for public feedback on a new case in India, related to sexually explicit content. Here is feedback for attribution from the Real Facebook Oversight Board -

The Facebook Oversight Board’s new case, addressing sexually explicit content in a post condemning sexual violence against tribal women in India, is another instance of whack-a-mole by the Oversight Board, which is exploring this one case while remaining silent about Meta’s complete whitewashing of it’s record on human rights in India.

On the merits, this case is a joke: among millions of posts that should be removed from India’s platforms, this one casts Meta in a good light — it’s a post condemning sexual violence in India, rather than one of the thousands inciting religious and gender-based hatred.

How many of the incendiary posts in India initially tagged/removed by human content moderators are escalated to the level of these so-called experts who look at “newsworthiness allowance,” as they’ve called it? How deep does the problem go? The Oversight Board, set up for PR cover and now again giving it to Meta, doesn’t say.

This case, whatever the “ruling” is no solution for the large-scale issues eroding safety, religious freedom and human rights in India. Earlier this year Meta released its first “human rights report,” which instead of including publicly their long-delayed Human Rights Impact Assessment on violations in India — as Meta had promised — Meta instead issued an inadequate “summary,” whitewashing the religious violence fomented in India across their platforms.

Meta had promised to consult with civil society orgs who participated in the HRIA process, many of whom had no notice of this report or any input at all. Facebook’s “independent” law firm was also not allowed to interview Frances Haugen, meaning that the report lacks the most significant revelations about the inside workings of Facebook.

The Oversight Board’s silence on this report speaks volumes. We call on individual Oversight Board members: If you care about rights in India, and have any integrity about your role, you’ll act with courage and ask Meta to release its full HRIA.

Real Facebook Oversight Board members are available for interviews. Statements do not reflect the individual positions of all Real Facebook Oversight Board Members. Contact us at media@the-citizens.com.

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Real Facebook Oversight Board

An emergency response to the ongoing harms on Facebook’s platforms from leading global scholars, experts and advocates.