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Facebook to Detail its ‘Satire Exception’ in Content Moderation

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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 one decision by its Board of Supervisors which is necessary to return a comment with an adaptation of the “Two buttons” meme commenting on Turkey’s response to the Armenian genocide.

This week, in a news announcement on the case Facebook said updating the information will allow teams to consider satire when assessing potential. hate speech violation, which was the problem in question with the two meme buttons. The company said the upgrade will be completed by the end of the year. Facebook only fully implements the council’s recommendation on the satire exception and assesses the feasibility of other recommendations made as appropriate.

In response to one of the board’s other recommendations, it advised Facebook to ensure it has proper procedures in place to “correctly assess satirical content and relevant context, while also providing content moderators with additional resources,” the company revealed that it was already working on a new satire framework for its regional and scaling teams. However, it is currently determining how to “apply this revision to scale”.

Facebook said the stakeholders – ranging from academic experts and journalists to comedians and representatives of satire publications –he was engaged to her framework had pointed out that humor and satire are highly subjective among people and cultures. The company has also said that it is important to institute a human review of humor and satire by individuals with cultural content.

“Given the specific nature of the satire context, we are not immediately able to scale this type of assessment or additional consultation to our content moderators,” Facebook said. “We need time to assess the potential trade-offs between identifying and scaling more content that may qualify for our satire exception, as opposed to scaling priority for more stringent policies, increasing the amount of content that would be scaled. , and potentially slower review times among our moderator content. “

The comment with the meme was posted by a Facebook user in the United States in December 2020. Although some might scratch their heads at the description of the “two-button” meme, like yours really, 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 his hand on his head sweating on it. button chooses.

People ordinarily match the meme with crazy, muted and benign text on each of the buttons. Memerino highlights some great ones like “eat a turkey” and “eat a ham”; “Infinite Power” and “Marvel Superheroes; or” Add More Easter Eggs “and” Make More Games, “to name a few.

In this case, as described by the Supervisory Board, The US Facebook user has replaced the face of the cartoon character in 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 “Armenians were terrorists who deserve it” The meme was preceded and followed by emoji faces thinking, he said. said the court.

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

Most of Facebook’s Supervisory Board disagrees, though, and found that the meme was covered by this exception, canceling it. the company’s decision on the matter.

The “two-button” meme contrasts two different options not to show support for them, but to highlight potential contradictions. [the majority of the board] found that the user shared the meme to raise awareness and condemn the Turkish government’s efforts to denounce the Armenian genocide while, at the same time, justifying these same historical atrocities, ”the council said in a May news announcement. “The majority also believe that the content could be covered by Facebook’s satire exception, which is not included in the Community Standards.”

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