By: Saumesh Thimbath
Responding to the concerns of over-enforcement, Meta Platforms’ oversight board said on Thursday it would review the moderation of the Arabic word “shaheed”, which means “martyr” in English.
The American company has sought guidance on whether it should continue to take down posts that contain the term “shaheed” to describe individuals who have been identified as a threat, or explore alternative methods, the board said.
The Arabic word accounts for more content removals on Meta’s platforms than any other single word or phrase.
“This is a complex moderation issue that impacts how millions of people express themselves online and whether Muslim and Arabic-speaking communities are subject to over-enforcement of their content because of Meta’s enforcement practices,” said Thomas Hughes, director of oversight board administration.
Concerns have been raised that moderating the word may result in over-enforcement, particularly in Arabic-speaking countries, and could have an impact on news reporting in those regions.
The oversight board has called for public comments to assist with its deliberations. It was created in late 2020 to review Facebook and Instagram’s decisions on taking down or retaining certain content and make rulings on whether to uphold or overturn the social media company’s actions.