Meta’s Oversight Board Raises Concerns On Insufficient Moderation Of Non-English Content: Report

New Delhi: The Oversight Board, a semi-independent body established by Meta, has raised concerns over insufficient investment in moderating content in languages other than English on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram and pointed out receiving the small number of user appeals from India and other such non-English majority countries. Sharing its maiden annual report since the body was set up in 2018 to keep an independent check on Meta’s content moderation standards, the board noted that fewer user appeals have come from the Global South, including India, reported The Indian Express. Status Of Appeal The board went on to receive more than a million user appeals between October 2020 and December 2021. Most of the appeals were about restoring content on Facebook or Instagram related to the posts supposedly violating Meta’s rules on bullying, hate speech, violence and incitement. ALSO READ: Foxconn, Vedanta Top Executives Discuss Next Steps For Semiconductor Manufacturing In India More than two-thirds of such user appeals belong to the Global North, with 49 per cent of total appeals coming from the US and Canada while 20 per cent from Europe. The total appeal is merely 2.4 per cent from Central and South Asia including India, which is the world's largest user of Facebook and Instagram. The report noted that this distribution does not reflect the spread of Facebook and Instagram users worldwide. For instance, in 2019, only six of the 20 countries with maximum Facebook users were in Europe and North America, while India has the most Facebook and Instagram users of any country, according to the report. What Does It Indicate? The report pointed out that the lower numbers of user appeals from outside Europe and the US & Canada could mean that many users in the rest of the world are unaware that they can appeal Meta’s content moderation decisions to the Board. However, the report added that the board did not believe that the distribution of appeals data reflected the actual distribution of content moderation issues around the globe. “If anything, we have reason to believe that users in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East experience more, not fewer, problems with Meta’s platforms than other parts of the world,” the board said. "Our decisions so far, which covered posts from India and Ethiopia, have raised concerns about whether Meta has invested sufficient resources in moderating content in languages other than English," it noted. Tackle The Issue In order to manage the problems, the Oversight Board is said to have made 86 recommendations to make Meta more transparent about its policies, which includes offering more details in non-English languages to users "who break its rules on hate speech" "Meta also committed to translating its Community Standards into several languages spoken in India meaning that, once completed, more than 400 million more people will be able to read Facebook’s rules in their native language," the board said.

Meta’s Oversight Board Raises Concerns On Insufficient Moderation Of Non-English Content: Report

New Delhi: The Oversight Board, a semi-independent body established by Meta, has raised concerns over insufficient investment in moderating content in languages other than English on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram and pointed out receiving the small number of user appeals from India and other such non-English majority countries.

Sharing its maiden annual report since the body was set up in 2018 to keep an independent check on Meta’s content moderation standards, the board noted that fewer user appeals have come from the Global South, including India, reported The Indian Express.

Status Of Appeal

The board went on to receive more than a million user appeals between October 2020 and December 2021. Most of the appeals were about restoring content on Facebook or Instagram related to the posts supposedly violating Meta’s rules on bullying, hate speech, violence and incitement.

ALSO READ: Foxconn, Vedanta Top Executives Discuss Next Steps For Semiconductor Manufacturing In India

More than two-thirds of such user appeals belong to the Global North, with 49 per cent of total appeals coming from the US and Canada while 20 per cent from Europe. The total appeal is merely 2.4 per cent from Central and South Asia including India, which is the world's largest user of Facebook and Instagram.

The report noted that this distribution does not reflect the spread of Facebook and Instagram users worldwide. For instance, in 2019, only six of the 20 countries with maximum Facebook users were in Europe and North America, while India has the most Facebook and Instagram users of any country, according to the report.

What Does It Indicate?

The report pointed out that the lower numbers of user appeals from outside Europe and the US & Canada could mean that many users in the rest of the world are unaware that they can appeal Meta’s content moderation decisions to the Board. However, the report added that the board did not believe that the distribution of appeals data reflected the actual distribution of content moderation issues around the globe.

“If anything, we have reason to believe that users in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East experience more, not fewer, problems with Meta’s platforms than other parts of the world,” the board said. "Our decisions so far, which covered posts from India and Ethiopia, have raised concerns about whether Meta has invested sufficient resources in moderating content in languages other than English," it noted.

Tackle The Issue

In order to manage the problems, the Oversight Board is said to have made 86 recommendations to make Meta more transparent about its policies, which includes offering more details in non-English languages to users "who break its rules on hate speech"

"Meta also committed to translating its Community Standards into several languages spoken in India meaning that, once completed, more than 400 million more people will be able to read Facebook’s rules in their native language," the board said.