Abortion Content Bundle


NOV 3, 2023

2023-011-IG-UA, 2023-012-FB-UA, 2023-013-FB-UA

Today, the Oversight Board selected a case bundle appealed by users on Facebook and Instagram for three different pieces of content (two posted to Facebook and one posted to Instagram) all concerning abortion.

The first piece of content concerns a post made to a Facebook Group by an admin of the group of a photo with text overlay that criticizes what they see as “Pro-Abortion Logic” that doesn’t want one to be poor, starved, or unwanted and concludes “So we’ll just kill you instead.”

The second piece of content concerns a post on Instagram which includes a photo of an article with the headline: “21 South Carolina GOP Lawmakers Propose Death Penalty for Women Who Have Abortions.” The caption of the photo criticizes the subject of the article pointing out the discrepancy between proposing a death penalty while claiming to be ‘pro-life.’

The third piece of content concerns a post made on Facebook with a link to a news article that covers the same topic as the second piece of content with the headline: “South Carolina GOP Lawmakers Propose Death Penalty for Women Who Have Abortions.” The caption criticizes the subject of the article questioning the stance of killing to make the point that killing is wrong and questioning how this position lines up with #AllLivesMatter.

For all three cases, upon initial review, Meta took down the posts for violating our policy on Violence and Incitement, as laid out in our Instagram Community Guidelines and Facebook Community Standards. However, upon additional review, we determined in each instance that we removed the pieces of content in error and reinstated all three posts.

Case decision

We welcome the Oversight Board’s decision today on this case. The board overturned Meta’s original decision to remove the content from the platforms. Meta previously reinstated this content, and as a result, no further action will be taken on the case content.

After conducting a review of the recommendation provided by the board in addition to their decision, we will update this page.


Recommendation 1 (Implementing in part)

In order to inform future assessments and recommendations to the Violence and Incitement policy, and enable the Board to undertake its own necessity and proportionality analysis of the trade-offs in policy development, Meta should provide the Board with the data that it uses to evaluate its policy enforcement accuracy. This information should be sufficiently comprehensive to allow the Board to validate Meta’s arguments that the type of enforcement errors in these cases are not a result of any systemic problems with Meta’s enforcement processes. The Board expects Meta to collaborate with it to identify the necessary data (e.g., 500 pieces of content from Facebook and 500 from Instagram in English for US users) and develop the appropriate data sharing arrangements.

The Board will consider this implemented when Meta provides the requested data.

Our commitment: We will provide the board with access to the Meta Content Library and Content Library API by the end of 2023. These are new data sharing tools providing the most comprehensive access to publicly-available content across Facebook and Instagram of any research tool we’ve built to date. These tools will provide the board with a clearer picture of active content on Meta's platforms to draw conclusions on Meta's enforcement processes. We will also assess the feasibility of sharing additional enforcement data points in H1 2024, incorporating appropriate privacy safeguards as we explore an expansion of our current data-sharing arrangements with the board.

Considerations: We recognize the importance of data access for the Oversight Board and are committed to helping the Board better understand our enforcement policies through a number of data-sharing channels. As part of the Oversight Board Bylaws, we have committed to providing the board with additional enforcement data that is reasonably required for it to make decisions during the board’s 90-day decision timeline, provided gathering said information is technically feasible and aligns with legal, privacy, safety, and data protection requirements. Additionally, as shared in our Q1 2023 Quarterly Update on the Oversight Board, we have convened the Implementation Working Group (composed of implementation teams at the Oversight Board and Meta) to improve our communication and data-sharing after the board’s decisions are published by tying their recommendations to specific, measurable impacts on our platforms.

As introduced in our Q2 2023 Quarterly Update, we are currently building upon our current data-sharing models by improving existing and creating new products that provide secure and efficient pathways such as the Meta Content Library and Content Library API. These tools allow the board to review public content from posts, pages, groups, and events on Facebook and public posts from creators and businesses on Instagram. We are currently working to provide the board with access to the tool by the end of 2023. We remain committed to providing the board with sufficiently comprehensive information on our enforcement systems, while maintaining the appropriate privacy safeguards to ensure that our data-sharing processes and procedures comply with relevant global privacy regimes and data protection measures. As such, we will assess the feasibility of further scaling these data sharing processes in H1 2024.