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Free Expression

Context and Periodic Evaluations of Moderation Systems Are Necessary to Determine When the Phrase “From the River to the Sea” Violates Meta’s Policies Regarding Hate Speech and Violence

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) submitted comments to the Meta Oversight Board’s Call for Comments regarding how the platform should moderate posts containing the phrase “From the river to the sea.”

In the comment, CDT writes that the phrase, which refers to the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, has a long history but has gained prominence in public discourse since the October 7, 2023 terrorist attack in Israel and the ongoing war in Gaza. The meaning of the most turns of phrase is context-specific and should be judged on that basis.

The cases chosen by the Oversight Board illustrate that Meta should continue to work on improving oversight of automated processes, moderator guidance, and commit to transparent and periodic evaluations of relevant policies and moderation systems to strike the right balance between user safety and free expression.

Read the full comments.