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Facebook allows users to ask Oversight Board to remove content

Previously, the Oversight Board was only allowed to issue rulings about whether to restore content that had already been removed. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Previously, the Oversight Board was only allowed to issue rulings about whether to restore content that had already been removed. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

April 13 (UPI) -- Facebook on Tuesday announced a change that will allow users to petition its Oversight Board to have flagged content removed from the social platform.

Previously, the board was only allowed to issue rulings about whether to restore content that had already been removed.

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The board is comprised of a group of 19 officers from outside Facebook, including human rights and legal experts, and reviews Facebook's moderation decisions.

The change applies to content on the Facebook and Instagram platforms.

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Tuesday's move expands the board's scope to review Facebook decisions regarding restoration and removal of content. Content eligible for appeal includes posts, photos, videos, comments and shares that violate the platforms' terms of agreement.

"If someone does not think that a piece of content should be on Facebook or Instagram, they first need to report the content to Facebook," Guy Rosen, vice president of integrity, said in a statement.

"If Facebook decides to keep the content up even after review, the reporting person will receive [a reference number] in their support inbox and from there can appeal Facebook's decision to the Oversight Board."

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In February, the board ruled against Facebook's decision to remove a post criticizing French President Emmanuel Macron and encouraging violence. The board said the post wasn't an imminent threat and ordered it reinstated.

Though Facebook is under no legal obligation to abide by the board's rulings, the company has said it will abide by them.

Earlier this year, Facebook announced the board would review its indefinite ban of former President Donald Trump, who was banned in January for inciting violence after the U.S. Capitol attack on Jan. 6.

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