Australian Electoral Commission’s Voting Rules Bundle

UPDATED

MAY 22, 2024

2024-002-FB-UA, 2024-003-FB-UA

Today, February 8, 2024, the Oversight Board selected a case bundle appealed by Facebook users concerning two posts regarding the electoral process in Australia during the 2023 Australian Indigenous Voice referendum.

The first piece of content contains a screenshot of tweets from the Australian Electoral Commission which discuss the issue of individuals voting more than once. The accompanying caption stated, “So it is official. Go out, vote early, vote often, and vote NO.” The second piece of content shared a screenshot of one of the same tweets from the Australian Electoral Commission with text overlay that stated “[t]hey are setting us up for a ‘Rigging’.. smash the voting centres people it’s a NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.”

Meta took down both pieces of content for violating our policy on Coordinating Harm and Promoting Crime, as laid out in the Facebook Community Standards. For the second piece of content, the phrase “smash the voting centres” was taken down under our policy on Coordinating Harm and Promoting Crime for advocating to inundate the election with duplicate voting. The same phrase can also be interpreted as a call to literally destroy the voting center buildings, which violates our policy on Violence and Incitement, as laid out in the Facebook Community Standards.

In accordance with our policy on Coordinating Harm and Promoting Crime, Meta prohibits “facilitating, organizing, or admitting to certain criminal or harmful activities,” including “advocating, providing instructions for, or demonstrating explicit intent to illegally participate in the voting process.” Additionally, Meta does not allow threats of violence against a place if they could “lead to death or serious injury of any person that could be present at the targeted place.”

We will implement the board’s decision once it has finished deliberating, and will update this post accordingly. Please see the Board's website for the decision when they issue it.

Case decision

We welcome the Oversight Board’s decision today, May 9, 2024, on this case bundle. The Board upheld Meta's decision to remove both pieces of content from Facebook.

After conducting a review of the recommendation provided by the Board, we will update this post with our initial response to that recommendation.