Below, you can find my appeal to Facebook’s Oversight Board in its entirety. I believe Facebook should relax some of its rules to increase users’ enjoyment of its services. Everything in italics is added later and is not part of the appeal as submitted.
How did Facebook get the decision wrong?
Dear Oversight Board, I disagree with the nudity policy but have accepted it, that is not the issue I’m bringing up with the Oversight Brd. I have four separate issues that I would like to raise.
1) The image in question was not uploaded to Facebook by me. It was an automatically generated thumbnail that came with a tweet I was linking in a comment. Facebook knows (or is certainly able to know) that the image violates its policies before it generates the thumbnail. I, therefore, think it would be more appropriate to not generate the image (or better put: generate the thumbnail, realize it’s against Facebook policies, post the link without the image and remember to always use this concrete link without a thumbnail image), and let the link be posted and let the comment stand.
2) The offending comment in question was in a discussion thread in a private group consisting of about 100 friends who share a specific sense of humor, post off-color jokes, and otherwise joke around in this small, private community that they would not in another forum. It is my long-held belief that in private groups, Facebook’s rules should be much more relaxed. Not in groups consisting of tens of thousands of people, but in small groups where “everybody knows your name” and where people share a common sense of humor.
3) I think a 7-day ban is excessive. I understand that in Facebook’s eyes I am a “repeat offender”, although most of my violations stem from Facebook’s tough scrutiny in a private group, as described above at 2). A lot of people learn about offending a rule only when they get the ban. Why not implement a warning, like on Twitter, where it would say: “Are you sure you want to post this? It might violate our policies against nudity.” Most people would take a clue.
4) It is disastrous (sometimes financially) for Page admins to not be able to post as the Page for the duration of the ban – and they can’t even delegate admin rights.
Thank you, my character limit is up
Why did you post this content?
We were in a discussion about the status of the career of an adult actress, I was posting a link to her Twitter account to support my argument that her career was no longer on hiatus. Like I said in the initial brief, this was in a small, closed, private community where I believe the standards should be more relaxed. Moreover, I did *not* post the content (the offending image). It was auto-generated and added to the link by Facebook itself. I do not think it’s right for Facebook to ban users for images it itself attaches to links, especially to links to an otherwise legitimate source (Twitter, in this instance.)
Does this content involve important social issues?
This content? No. But the ability to joke around and post off-color jokes in small, closed, private communities? I believe that here, the answer is a resounding “yes”. I understand why Facebook wants to keep the public (o private) profiles of users and Pages clean, without nudity. But I don’t think the rationale extends to a small group of friends who have created a small, closed, private group on Facebook.
Provide a summary for your submission
FB shouldn’t punish people for content it itself creates (and in groups) // 75-character limit //
Is there anything else you think the board should know?
This gives me an opportunity to elaborate a little bit on my fourth point from the original brief. For the duration of a ban, users are unable to operate the Pages where they are admins. This means they cannot create content, cannot post ads or spend money on them, cannot even delegate such rights to another person. It does not make sense from Facebook’s perspective – does Facebook not want content or ad revenue? And from the perspective of the user in question, it is quite maddening to know that there is absolutely nothing they can do. For users who manage Pages professionally, this means a loss of income that they cannot foresee because Facebook’s rules often change arbitrarily and apply retrospectively, for comments and posts months or even years old. I, therefore, think Facebook should reconsider this point as well. Let admins manage their Pages when a user is serving their ban. It is surely the case that people will not post offending things on Pages for companies, NGOs, government agencies, and so on. If they violate the rules even as a Page, they can receive much stiffer penalties. (Rules might reasonably vary depending on the size and purpose of the Page.)
Which languages were used in your content?
English // not possible to select Czech for some reason //
Which countries is this content relevant to?
What keywords best describe your content?
What Can Be Shared About You with the Public?
Do you give permission for the board to share details that could easily identify you in its explanation?
Do you give permission for the board to share data with special protections about you in its explanation?
Please review your answers to ensure they are accurate and make any necessary changes. Once your appeal is submitted, you will be unable to make changes to your written answers.