Mark Zuckerberg-led Meta is changing its “Facebook Jail” penalty system to make it more effective and fair in response to input from the independent Oversight Board.
According to Monika Bickert, Meta’s content policy Vice-President informed the media, “Under the new system, we will focus on helping people understand why we have removed their content, which has been shown to be more effective at preventing re-offending, rather than so quickly restricting their ability to post.”
A single strike generally carries a warning with no account restrictions.
Under the new policy, if a user has two to six strikes on his/her account, the individual will be barred from using certain features, such as posting in a Facebook group, for an “indefinite period of time.”
If the person gets eight strikes on his/her account, the user will be barred from posting for three days, seven days if they have nine strikes and 30 days if they have 10 or more strikes, as per Meta.
“We will continue to apply immediate consequences, including account removal in severe cases. For more serious violations: posting content that includes terrorism, child exploitation, human trafficking, suicide promotion, sexual exploitation, the sale of non-medical drugs, or the promotion of dangerous individuals and organisations,” Monika Bickert said.
Under “Facebook Jail”, the social media platform bans a user for violating its community guidelines. The ban can be either temporary or last for a few hours/up to 21 days/permanent, and during this, the user account gets deleted.
Once the user is in jail, they cannot publish, comment, like or share any content, apart from being unable to add friends or accept the already present requests. After the sentence’s completion, the user is granted full access to his/her account again.
Some individuals have previously wounded themselves in “Facebook Jail” without knowing what they did incorrectly or whether they were a victim of content policing.
“We recognise we don’t always get it right, which is one of the reasons we’re making this change. This new strategy will result in faster and more impactful actions for those that consistently violate our policies rather than potentially over-penalising people with fewer strikes from low-severity violations and restricting their freedom of expression,” Meta said.
“According to our data, approximately 80% of users with fewer than three strikes refrain from breaking our rules again in the next 60 days,” said Monika Bickert.
While welcoming the policy changes, the Oversight Board asked the Meta to do more to improve regulations. “Today’s announcement focuses on less serious violations. Yet the Board has consistently found that Meta also makes mistakes when it comes to identifying and enforcing more serious violations, which can severely impact journalists and activists. That’s why the Oversight Board has asked for greater transparency on “severe strikes” and will continue to do so.”