Facebook supervisor re-assesses “Black squeaking” video removal

The Facebook surveillance board is going to look at two new cases. One of those cases is about a deleted Dutch video in which two men dressed as Black Pete can be seen. The other case concerns the suspension of us former president Trump from the platform.

The monitoring council was set up in the autumn to assess some issues on Facebook. Facebook or Instagram, after which a user has objected, presents the platform as a kind of Appeal body: the cases that are being dealt with have already been reviewed by Facebook or Instagram. Facebook can also provide business.

Since the council was set up, 150 000 objections have been raised. The fact that the council is now choosing a Dutch case to judge is striking. There are usually issues on the agenda that serve a high social purpose and in which the ruling can have an impact on the platform’s policy. In the Dutch case, this is about racism and exclusion. Facebook decided earlier to remove posts with caricature images of black people and Jews.

Facebook should follow statements

The council is now going to see if the 17-second video, in which a child hands Saint Nicholas and one of the bad guys, should be removed. The user who published the video complained to Facebook about the removal. He claimed that the video was meant for the child, who was happy with it. In addition, the user stated that “color does not matter, because Black Pete is an important figure for children”.

Facebook is obliged to comply with council statements. It can also give advice on policy adjustments on the basis of the case. These suggestions do not have to follow Facebook, but the company must respond to them.

Yesterday, it was announced that four of the first five cases that were reviewed were judged to have been wrongfully deleted by Facebook. The cases concerned posts in which hatred, nudity, dangerous persons and organisations and incitement to violence were discussed.

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