Non-English content moderation: Meta Oversight Board flags lack of investment

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Flagging concerns over inadequate investment in moderating content in languages other than English, the Oversight Board of social media company Meta has pointed out the small number of user appeals from India and other such non-English majority countries that the advisory group received.

In its first annual report, the board noted that almost half of the appeals came from the US and Canada, while only 2.4 per cent came from Central and South Asia — the region to which India belongs.

“We recognise that this distribution does not reflect the spread of Facebook and Instagram users worldwide. In 2019, for example, only six of the 20 countries with the most Facebook users were in Europe and North America, while India has the most Facebook and Instagram users of any country,” it said.

“The lower numbers of user appeals from outside Europe and the US & Canada could also indicate that many of those using Facebook and Instagram in the rest of the world are not aware they can appeal Meta’s content moderation decisions to the Board,” it pointed out, adding that it did not believe that the distribution of appeals data reflected the actual distribution of content moderation issues around the globe.
“If anything, we have reason to believe that users in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East experience more, not fewer, problems with Meta’s platforms than other parts of the world.

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“Our decisions so far, which covered posts from India and Ethiopia, have raised concerns about whether Meta has invested sufficient resources in moderating content in languages other than English,” the board said.

In its annual report, the board also noted that Meta has committed to translate its Community Standards into several languages spoken in India “meaning that, once completed, more than 400 million more people will be able to read Facebook’s rules in their native language”.





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