“Meta” resolves the controversy over the word “martyr” in Arabic after years of criticism

2024-03-26 17:56:09

On Tuesday, Meta’s oversight board called on the company to end its comprehensive ban on content containing the word “martyr,” saying: “The ban is unnecessary and restricts freedom of expression.”

The council, which is funded by Meta but operates independently, said in a statement that it had concluded that “Meta’s current approach is unnecessary and disproportionately restricts freedom of expression, and the company must end this blanket ban.”

He stressed that “acts of terrorist violence have dire consequences, destroy innocent lives, impede human rights, and undermine the fabric of societies.”

He added: “However, any restriction of freedom of expression to prevent this violence must be necessary and proportionate, because unjustified removal of content may be ineffective and may even be counterproductive.”

The decision comes after years of criticism of the company’s handling of content related to the Middle East, including a 2021 study commissioned by Meta itself that found that its approach had a “negative impact on the human rights” of Palestinians and other users of its services. Arabic speakers.

Human rights groups accused Meta of blocking content supporting the Palestinians on Facebook and Instagram against the backdrop of the war that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people in Gaza following the Israeli aggression on Gaza on October 7th.

Meta’s oversight board reached similar conclusions in its report Tuesday, finding that Meta’s rules on “martyr” failed to take into account the diversity of meanings of the word and led to the removal of content that was not intended to praise acts of violence.

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“META has been operating on the assumption that censorship can improve the safety of individuals on the platform and it will, but the evidence suggests that censorship can marginalize entire populations while not improving safety,” Helle Thorning-Schmidt, co-chair of the oversight board, said in a statement. Absolutely”.

TRT Arabic – Agencies

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