Meta’s supervisory board will review the company’s handling of electoral content in Brazil

The Oversight Board has agreed to review an issue related to Meta’s handling of election content in Brazil. In a statement, the board said they intend to scrutinize social networking policies surrounding election content in “high-risk” areas.

The issue originated from a user who posted a video in early January calling for people to “besiege” the Brazilian Congress after the election of President Lula da Silva. The video also included clips of a speech by a Brazilian general who called on people to take to the streets and government buildings. The video was reported seven times by four different users, according to the board, but it remained on Facebook even after it was reviewed by five separate moderators. Meta later chose to remove the post and issue a “strike” to the person who originally posted it, after the oversight board decided to review the issue.

Although the case relates to the recent presidential elections in Brazil, the board’s recommendations could have a far-reaching impact. “The board selected this case to examine how Meta modifies election-related content, and how crisis policy protocol is being implemented in a ‘temporary high-risk location,'” the group wrote in a statement.

As the board points out, the Meta’s “crisis policy protocol” is a central aspect of the issue. The protocol, which was made after Donald Trump’s comment was considered by the Oversight Board, allows Meta to respond to situations where there is a risk of “imminent harm” either offline or online. So any recommendations that address this policy could end up affecting election-related content around the world, not just in Brazil.

However, this outcome is still months away. Currently, the Oversight Board is asking for public opinions on various issues connected to the case before it can make recommendations to the Meta. The company will then have 60 days to respond, although, as usual, the Meta is not required to adopt policy changes proposed by the board.

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