News Documentary on Child Abuse in Pakistan


MAY 14, 2024


Today, February 27, 2024, the Oversight Board selected a case referred by Meta regarding a video posted to the Urdu language Facebook Page of an international news broadcaster. The video appears to be excerpts of a documentary about a Pakistani serial killer who sexually abused and murdered more than 100 children in the 1990s. The caption makes clear that the video is being shared to condemn and raise awareness of the issue. The video at multiple points depicts newspapers and photographs that show the faces of unnamed children victims.

Upon initial review, Meta left this content up. However, upon further review, we determined the content did in fact violate our policy on Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Nudity as laid out in the Facebook Community Standards, and was left up in error. We therefore removed the content.

Meta referred this case to the board because we found it significant and difficult as it creates tension between our values of privacy, safety, dignity, and voice.

Despite the fact that the imagery appears to have been taken from old newspaper articles and the events in question are more than 20 years old, we err in favor of removing victim imagery even under these conditions due to the substantial risk of harm still posed to the victims and their families.

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 14, 2024, on this case. The Board overturned Meta's decision to take down the content from Facebook. Meta will comply with the Board's decision and reinstate the content within 7 days.

After conducting a review of the recommendations provided by the Board, we will update this post with initial responses to those recommendations.