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Facebook Oversight Board Announces First 5 Rulings

FILE - The thumbs-up Like logo is shown on a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., April 14, 2020.

Facebook’s quasi-independent oversight board has ruled the social media company must restore four of five posts that it had taken down.

The cases involved Facebook’s policy regarding adult nudity, hate speech and “dangerous individuals.”

The oversight board ordered images of female nipples displayed by a Brazilian user on Instagram to raise awareness about breast cancer to be restored. The post had been removed for violating Facebook’s policy on adult nudity.

In another post about Muslims by a user in Myanmar, which included photos of a dead Syrian toddler, the board said the post was offensive but was not hate speech.

The board also ordered the restoration of a post with a quote falsely attributed to Nazi propaganda and Third Reich minister Joseph Goebbels because the intent was to make a political statement about former President Donald Trump.

Finally, the board said a post in French about COVID-19 that had been taken down for misinformation should be restored because it did not cause imminent harm.

The board agreed that Facebook was correct to remove a post that used a racial slur to describe Azerbaijanis.

The decisions are final.

The board will next decide whether Facebook was correct to remove Trump’s page for what the company said was his role in encouraging the violent rampage of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters on January 6.

The public can begin making comments on this case Friday.

Facebook regularly removes content it says violates its terms of service. So far, about 150,000 cases have been brought to the oversight board.