Meta’s Oversight Board, an independent group selected by the social media company to deliberate its content decisions, has published a report in which it has urged the company to continue removing Covid-19 misinformation from Facebook and Instagram.
The board also advised the social media giant to provide greater transparency on content removal and assess its impact on public health.
“Given Meta’s insistence that it takes a single, global approach to Covid-19 misinformation, the Board concludes that, as long as the World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to declare Covid-19 as an international public health emergency, Meta should maintain its current policy,” the report said.
What is Meta’s policy
Under the “Misinformation about health during public health emergencies” policy, Meta removes “misinformation during public health emergencies when public health authorities conclude that the information is false and likely to directly contribute to the risk of imminent physical harm”.
Continue removing Covid-19 misinformation
While on one hand, Meta is urged to continue removing Covid-19 misinformation that is likely to directly contribute to the risk of imminent and significant physical harm, the board said it should also prepare measures to protect freedom of expression and other human rights when the WHO declaration is lifted.
Provide more transparency
The Board “strongly” recommended that Meta publish information on government requests to remove Covid-19 content and take action to support independent research of its platforms. The company is also told to examine the link between its platforms’ architecture and misinformation at the same time promote understanding around Covid-19 misinformation on a global level.
How it will help users
According to the board, continuing with removal of Covid-19-related misinformation from Facebook and Instagram during a global health emergency, the company is essentially protecting its users globally from physical harm.
Meta is also told to protect users’ right to a remedy by expanding users’ ability to appeal fact-checker labels.