Re-evaluating the Use of the Word Martyr in Mita’s Policy

The supervisory board of Meta Platforms (the parent company of Facebook and Instagram) said today, Thursday, that it will reconsider the word “martyr” in Arabic as it is responsible for more content removals on its website. platform than any other single word or phrase.

The council said Mita had sought his advice on whether to continue deleting posts that use the word “martyr” to refer to individuals deemed dangerous or take a different approach.

“This is a complex issue that impacts how millions of people express themselves online and whether Muslim and Arabic-speaking communities are subjected to undue control over their content due to metamoderation practices,” Council Director Thomas Hughes said.

The Board noted that the phrase “approach” could lead to over-controlling, especially in Arabic-speaking countries, and could affect news coverage in those regions, and called for assistance in its deliberations through public comment.

The Review Board was established in late 2020 to review decisions by Facebook and Instagram to remove or retain certain content, and to decide whether to approve or cancel the social network’s actions.

“meta” statement

In this context, META released the following statement: “The Review Board today approved META’s request for an advisory opinion on the treatment of the word ‘martyr’ when it is used to refer to a specific person in accordance with the Dangerous Persons and Entities Policy. Policy on particularly dangerous individuals and organizations. Our meta identifies and blocks “organizations or individuals that support violent missions or engage in violent activities” on our platforms, such as terrorists or hate groups. We also prohibit content that includes “praise, significant support or representation”—terms we define in our policies—for these specific organizations and individuals, living or deceased. we are aware of this We do not remove the word “martyr” by itself or when it is used to refer to unspecified individuals.

The statement added: “META has asked the review board for guidance on this approach because we know that while we designed it with safety in mind, we are aware of significant differences in how the term is used around the world. The term martyr” is used in many different ways in many communities around the world, in different cultures, religions and languages.Sometimes this approach can lead to the removal of some content that was never intended to support terrorism or widely glorify violence.”

He continued: “We are seeking the views of the Supervisory Board on the three possible options that we have identified for their consideration, or any other options they may deem appropriate:

Option 1: Maintaining the status quo – as described above

Option two. Allow content where the word “martyr” is used to refer to a specific dangerous person only if (1) it is used in a certain allowed context (e.g. news, neutral, academic discussion), (2) no praise, essential support or further representation of a dangerous organization or person; and (3) lack of references to violence in the content (for example, images of weapons, military uniforms, or references to actual violence).

Option 3: Remove content that uses the word “martyr” to refer to a specific dangerous person only if there is additional praise, significant support or representation, or reference to violence.

We also welcome the advice of the Supervisory Board on broader issues related to our policy and enforcement that the Policy Advisory Opinion raises.”

“In evaluating our current policies and preparing a request for a policy advisory opinion to the Supervisory Board, we reviewed extensive research by academic, non-profit and advocacy researchers and established significant contacts with more than 40 individual and institutional parties. This is stated in the META statement. , free speech advocates, digital rights organizations, and local civil society groups who are directly affected by the policy in question.”

The statement concludes: “After the Board has completed its deliberations, we will review and publicly respond to its recommendations within 60 days and update this posting accordingly. Please visit the Committee’s website for recommendations as they are issued.”

Brice Foster
With over a decade of experience, Brice Foster is an accomplished journalist and digital media expert. In addition to his Master's in Digital Media from UC Berkeley, he also holds a Bachelor's in Journalism from USC. Brice has spent the past five years writing for WS News Publishers on a variety of topics, including technology, business, and international affairs.

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