The Facebook Oversight Board announced Tuesday that: it was reviewing a business decision to delete a post calling for the death of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the wake of nationwide protests in the country.
In Tuesday’s announcement, the board described the July post as a caricature of Khamenei grabbing “a woman wearing the hijab” by his beard. The image calls for the death of the ‘anti-female Islamic government’ and its ‘dirty leader Khamenei’. While Facebook removed the post for encouraging violence against a political leader, the company later reinstated it in August when the board chose to review the decision. the announcement said:.
“Because we cannot cover every appeal, the Council is prioritizing matters that could potentially affect many users around the world”
The review announcement is coming weeks after protests broke out across Iran about the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody for violating the country’s humility laws in September. The protests have taken place in more than 45 cities in the past two weeks, and dozens of people have reportedly been killed and injured by Iranian security forces. On Monday, Khamenei sided with the police, accusing the US and Israel of causing the unrest.
“Because we can’t cover every appeal, the board is prioritizing issues that could potentially impact many users around the world, that are critical to public debate or that raise important questions about Meta’s policies,” it said. the board in its announcement on Tuesday.
In recent months, Facebook and parent company Meta have struggled to develop policies and tackle content that incites political violence or the deaths of state leaders, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin. In March, Meta said that “calls for the death of a head of state” breaking company rules. The clarification came just a week after Facebook toned down these rules, allowing Ukrainian users to post violent threats against the Russian military shortly after the Russian spring invasion.
The board encourages public responses to the assessment until October 18. Once members have made a decision, they can make policy recommendations to Facebook. The company is not required to implement the recommendations, but it must respond to the board within 60 days of publishing a decision.