Facebook Announces It Will Go After Satire It Doesn’t Like

(PatriotWise.com)- After the Facebook Board overruled the censorship of a satirical meme regarding Turkey and the Armenian genocide, the social media giant, based on their Board’s recommendation, decided to update their “Facebook Community Standards” to “consider satire as part of our assessment of context-specific decisions.”

The meme in question featured the well-known split-screen cartoon of a perspiring superhero trying to decide which button to push. Over the superhero’s face was the Turkish flag. Above one button, the message “The Armenian Genocide is a lie.” Over the other, “The Armenians were terrorists who deserved it.”

Facebook removed the post, claiming it violated its Cruel and Insensitive Community Standard which says Facebook can remove posts that it claims target “victims of serious physical or emotional harm” including posts that make use of memes and gifs. Facebook then reclassified the removal so it fell under its Hate Speech Community Standard.

The decision was appealed and the Facebook Oversight Board lifted the ban.

In their recommendation, the Oversight Board pointed out that while Facebook has said it will make exceptions for satire, it doesn’t specify how or what qualifies as satire in its guidelines. So the Board suggested Facebook make the guidelines surrounding satire clearer.

In a blog post announcing the future change, Facebook said it would add information to its Community Standards that “makes it clear where we consider satire” in their assessment of “context-specific decisions.”

And how will Facebook do this?

“Regional teams” will provide “satire assessments,” that will piggy-back off the work Facebook has already done to develop “a framework for assessing humor and satire.” This includes engaging with “academic experts, journalists, comedians, representatives of satirical publications, and advocates for freedom of expression.”

Facebook’s blog post is beginning to sound a bit like satire itself.

But Facebook does acknowledge that (hang on to your hats) “humor and satire are highly subjective across people and cultures.” Who knew?

Therefore, since not everybody finds the same things funny, Facebook has determined “intent is the key.”

What’s more, Facebook has decided that satire “does not punch down,” explaining that the target of satire alone is the “indicator of intent.”

Therefore, says the humorless social media giant, if content is “simply derogatory, not layered, complex, or subversive, it is not satire.”