Elections & Democracy, Free Expression
CDT Weighs In on Meta Oversight Board’s case on Takedown of Speech Calling for Attack on Brazil’s National Congress
The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) welcomes the opportunity to provide comments on case 2023-001-FB-UA before the Meta Oversight Board, regarding a user’s appeal to remove another user’s post containing a video of a Brazilian general calling for supporters of the former Brazilian president to take over the National Congress in Brasília.
A user shared a video playing a portion of the General’s remarks where, through his speech and through overlaid text, viewers are called on to “besiege” Brazil’s congress and “demand the source code.” This video was reported seven times and reviewed by human reviewers numerous times. Each reviewer found that the post did not violate Meta’s Violence and Incitement Community Standard, which prohibits calls to “forcibly enter locations…where there are temporary signals of a heightened risk of violence or offline harm.” Upon selection of this case by the Oversight Board, Meta removed the post, saying that the post did in fact violate Meta’s policies.
In this comment, we explain why election integrity efforts must take into account the unique context of the country’s electoral process, be watchful of narratives that are disseminated before and during the electoral period and even after the transition of power, and be more transparent in their application and enforcement of content policies.