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Meta Oversight Board To Weigh In On Abortion Speech Policy

  • The Meta Oversight Board is considering new policy possibilities that may adjust how abortion and pro-life advocates can discuss the topic on social media.
  • Board consideration was prompted by several posts on both sides of the aisle on Facebook and Instagram.
  • “Even the notion of an international body that determines groups for public comment in the United States on abortion [is] It’s just crazy,” Jake Denton, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation Center for Technology Policy, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

A June announcement said Meta’s oversight board was debating whether to draft new policy recommendations for posts containing the word “kill” when discussing abortion, prompting activists to join online debates. How you participate may change.

In March, several posts on Facebook and Instagram were removed for potentially calling for violence and death threats against both pro- and abortion activists. according to on the slate. These posts were later reinstated following an appeal by the account holder and referred to Meta’s oversight board. approved Created by Mark Zuckerberg in 2018, it consists of 20. Expertto announcement It said it would use the post to consider new policy proposals on the issue. (Related: Meta officially begins process to end news access for Canadians)

“It’s important to understand what powers this oversight board has,” Andrea Truden, vice president of communications and marketing at Heartbeat International, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. rice field. “Their job is to do everything they can to keep users safe, not to decide what language is allowed and what issues can be discussed.”

In the first example, a Facebook user posted an image titled “Pro-Abortion Logic” and wrote, “We don’t want you to be poor, starving, or no longer needed. So I’m going to kill you instead,” the board said in a statement. Second and Third Posts Involved Republicans Specification South Carolina tried to amend the state’s criminal code to include abortion as a form of murder.

The bill specified that women convicted of abortion would face the same punishment as those convicted of murder, and abortion advocates could see women sentenced to death as a result. I warn you that there is a risk. One of the posts said the bill’s logic was very anti-life, Another post asked a state legislator why he thought he was “killing because it was wrong to kill,” according to the statement.

The posts were the subject of several hearings by Meta, according to the statement, but ultimately Meta determined that none of the posts actually contained death threats, and the Oversight Board confirmed the issue. After announcing that it would investigate, the post was said to have been restored.

Christy Hamrick, vice president of media and policy at Students for Life Action, told DCNF that many pro-lifers were unsure of Meta’s anti-discrimination track record.

“The problem is that pro-abortion individuals and groups practice viewpoint discrimination, which leads to unconstitutional suppression of free speech,” Hamrick said. “Meta shouldn’t be part of the problem. Given its history, I’m not sure Meta can abide by these standards, but a platform like X could allow Elon Musk to reverse Twitter’s direction and allow free speech. A good example. “

Facebook has been accused of censoring pro-life groups in the past. In 2018, the platform will It was deleted A post by the pro-life group Live Action compared abortion to slavery and the Holocaust for violating hate speech policies, and a 2020 post by Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley. I was demanded to Zuckerberg explained that his platform has suspended advertising privileges for several pro-life groups.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 20: People attend the 50th Annual March for Life rally on January 20, 2023 on the National Mall in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

EV Osment, vice president of communications for Susan B. Anthony (SBA) Pro-Life America, told the DCNF that the posts being considered by the board would never come from a reputable pro-life organization. Although waxed, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution gives us the right to use them.

“What’s interesting is that these three posts that are currently under review are not the ones we were supposed to publish, but none of them meet meta’s criteria for violence and incitement.” Mr Osment said. “We believe this ultimately comes down to freedom of speech about debating what abortion is, rather than just letting Meta define abortion according to one definition.”

Oversight Commission spokesman Dan Chason asked the DCNF to submit comments on the topic by June 29 to allow the commission a broader and more thorough discussion. A decision is expected in the coming weeks, he told the DCNF. SBA Pro Life America letter In June after the announcement, he told Meta that abortion itself is a “violent act” and that the board should take this into account when evaluating policy proposals on social media.

Dr. Christina Francis, obstetrician-gynecologist and CEO of the American Association of Professional-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told the DCNF that the board will open its discussions to the public, making it a unique committee in the realm of social media. He said he was happy to be do so. Dr. Francis said she would encourage the board to consult medical professionals and “read accurate information about its medical care,” even if it might be “contrary to popular political arguments.” she said.

Abortion advocacy groups also sent letters of recommendation to the board.A letter from the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), also sent in June I was demanded to Posts containing the word “kill” when discussing abortion on meta platforms should not be deleted.

“People who choose to have an abortion and those who do not need to be able to speak openly about their choices in order to build community with others facing similar decisions,” the letter said. ing. “Activists for and against choosing to exercise their right to assemble freely need to be able to take action and speak out against the wave of abortion legislation being introduced across the country.”

Jake Denton, a researcher at the Heritage Foundation Center for Technology Policy, told the DCNF that the International Advisory Board should not be allowed to tell Americans how they can or cannot talk about abortion on social media. He said it shouldn’t be done.

“Even the concept of an international body that determines the group for US public comment on abortion.” [is] It’s just crazy,” Denton said. “I know the whole Oversight Board is symbolic in nature, but just the premise that an international academic decides what is acceptable speech in the United States is absolutely crazy.”

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