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Facebook will add “satire exception” to its community standards


Facebook says so its community standards to clarify how to deal with satirical content as a result of recommendations from the Supervisory Board. The change comes from involving a user who posted a meme satirizing “the Turkish government’s efforts to deny the Armenian genocide.”

Facebook had initially left the post, citing its rules against hate speech, but reinstated it after the Board of Supervisors said the company was wrong to pull the post. In its decision, the Supervisory Board that Facebook has previously indicated that it makes exceptions to its rules for some satirical content, but this policy is not explained in its official guidelines. Now, Facebook says it will do more to clarify how to handle satire.

“We will add information to the Community Standards that makes it clear where we consider satire as part of our assessment of context-specific decisions,” Facebook writes in an update. “This change will allow teams to consider satire when assessing potential violations of Hate Speech.”


The promise to update the language of their community standards is the only firm commitment Facebook has made because of this case. The council made several other recommendations, including that users should be able to cite exceptions to Facebook’s hate speech rules when appealing a moderation decision. Facebook said it is “assessing feasibility” for this and other recommendations. The company said it was “developing a framework for assessing humor and satire,” but that such a process could be difficult to scale to all its content moderators.

It’s not the first time Facebook has changed its rules in response to the Supervisory Board. The company has clarified this before on the advice of the council. And the company agreed to back some aspects of its which allowed politicians to break their rules.

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