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Meta lifts its ban on the word ‘shaheed’

Meta lifts its ban on the word 'shaheed'
Image via Reddit

Meta has removed the ban on the word “shaheed” across Facebook and Instagram, following advice from the Meta Oversight Board. Indeed, the Board also concurred that the sweep on this prohibition was too wide and had disabled conversations relating to violence in regions such as Gaza and Sudan.

“Shaheed” bears deep cultural and religious connotations among Arabic- and Muslim-speaking communities, and the effect of Meta’s earlier over-censorship impacted millions of users.

The reviewing Oversight Board had found that “shaheed” means a range of things, none of which are leading to glorifying violence. Paolo Carozza of the Oversight Board made a statement in the case, saying that nuance was very much required in content moderation.

Meta has updated its policy to balance freedom of expression and fighting against harmful content, which would impact in some meaningful ways how content with mentions of “shaheed” is treated across Meta’s platforms.

This move has attracted very positive reception from users and advocacy groups, rated as a win for freedom of expression. Lina Khan, the digital rights activist, expressed gratitude to Meta for being responsive to the people. This decision should enable inclusive dialogue and respectful discourse toward global issues.

The new policy allows Meta to flex its celebrating of diversity from its vast user base across the world, having some of the strictest policies under the Dangerous Organizations and Individuals guidelines.

lts guidelines is adapting to the diversity of its global user base with this new policy. The Oversight Board’s review was extensive and thorough, ensuring the policy shift safeguards freedom of expression while continuing to combat harmful content effectively

It admitted to having gone too far in censoring the term, and the new approach is a massive leap toward including better content moderation on social media.

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