Oversight Board overturns Facebook decision: Case 2021-005-FB-UA | Oversight Board
The Oversight Board has overturned Facebook’s decision to remove a comment under its Hate Speech Community Standard. A majority of the Board found it fell into Facebook’s exception for content condemning or raising awareness of hatred.
About the case
On December 24, 2020, a Facebook user in the United States posted a comment with an adaptation of the ‘daily struggle’ or ‘two buttons’ meme. This featured the split-screen cartoon from the original ‘two buttons’ meme, but with a Turkish flag substituted for the cartoon character’s face. The cartoon character has its right hand on its head and appears to be sweating. Above the character, in the other half of the split-screen, are two red buttons with corresponding statements in English: “The Armenian Genocide is a lie” and “The Armenians were terrorists that deserved it.”
While one content moderator found that the meme violated Facebook’s Hate Speech Community Standard, another found it violated its Cruel and Insensitive Community Standard. Facebook removed the comment under the Cruel and Insensitive Community Standard and informed the user of this.
After the user’s appeal, however, Facebook found that the content should have been removed under its Hate Speech Community Standard. The company did not tell the user that it upheld its decision under a different Community Standard.
Facebook stated that it removed the comment as the phrase “The Armenians were terrorists that deserved it,” contained claims that Armenians were criminals based on their nationality and ethnicity. According to Facebook, this violated its Hate Speech Community Standard.
Facebook also stated that the meme was not covered by an exception which allows users to share hateful content to condemn it or raise awareness. The company claimed that the cartoon character could be reasonably viewed as either condemning or embracing the two statements featured in the meme.
The majority of the Board, however, believed that the content was covered by this exception. The ‘two buttons’ meme contrasts two different options not to show support for them, but to highlight potential contradictions. As such, they found that the user shared the meme to raise awareness of and condemn the Turkish government’s efforts to deny the Armenian genocide while, at the same time, justifying these same historic atrocities. The majority noted a public comment which suggested that the meme, “does not mock victims of genocide, but mocks the denialism common in contemporary Turkey, that simultaneously says the genocide did not happen and that victims deserved it.” The majority also believed that the content could be covered by Facebook’s satire exception, which is not included in the Community Standards.
The minority of the Board, however, found that it was not sufficiently clear that the user shared the content to criticize the Turkish government. As the content included a harmful generalization about Armenians, the minority of the Board found that it violated the Hate Speech Community Standard.
In this case, the Board noted that Facebook told the user that they violated the Cruel and Insensitive Community Standard when the company based its enforcement on the Hate Speech Community Standard. The Board was also concerned about whether Facebook’s moderators had the necessary time and resources to review content containing satire.
The Oversight Board’s decision
The Oversight Board overturns Facebook’s decision to remove the content and requires that the comment be restored.
In a policy advisory statement, the Board recommends that Facebook:
- Inform users of the Community Standard enforced by the company. If Facebook determines that a user’s content violates a different Community Standard to the one the user was originally told about, they should have another opportunity to appeal.
- Include the satire exception, which is not currently available to users, in the public language of its Hate Speech Community Standard.
- Adopt procedures to properly moderate satirical content while taking into account relevant context. This includes providing content moderators with access to Facebook’s local operation teams and sufficient time to consult with these teams to make an assessment.
- Let users indicate in their appeal that their content falls into one of the exceptions to the Hate Speech policy. This includes exceptions for satirical content and where users share hateful content to condemn it or raise awareness.
- Make sure appeals based on policy exceptions are prioritized for human review.
For further information:
To read the full case decision, click here.
To read a synopsis of public comments for this case, click here.
"Daily Struggle" is an exploitable comic featuring a character attempting to push one of two red buttons labeled with contradicting statements.
On October 25th, 2014, animator Jake Clark posted the original comic to his Tumblr blog, depicting a visibly shaken character wiping sweat from his brow while struggling to choose between two buttons labeled "BE A DICK" and "DON'T BE A DICK" (shown below). Clark has since noted the comic was inspired by the Sweating Towel Guy illustration and the character Hank Nova from Timesplitters 2. In the next two years, the comic gained over 9,700 notes.
On February 1, 2015 the comic was submitted to Imgur by user Robban39 under the title "Daily Struggle" and has been viewed over 1,275,000 times . In the coming hours, Redditor AcerRubrum posted the same Imgur submission to r/funny, where it received 3738 points (91% upvoted) and 117 comments prior to being archived . Meanwhile, a GIF of the comic was submitted to Imgur, in which the "Be a Dick" button is pressed repeatedly (shown below).
On February 20th, Redditor reposted the original comic to /r/funny, where it gathered upwards of 2,000 votes (80% upvoted) and 40 comments prior to being archived. On March 29th, a variation of the comic titled "Tumblr's dilemma" in which the two buttons were labeled "People can be born as the wrong gender" and "Gender is a social construct" was submitted to /r/funny, where it garnered upwards of 4,400 votes (85% upvoted) and 775 comments before it was archived (shown below, left). On June 23rd, Redditor slapkunts posted a version of the comic representing the man as a "proud liberal" and editing the button labels to read "cops are evil and racist" and "you don't need a gun because you have police" to /r/Libertarian (shown below, right). Prior to being archived, the post gathered more than 3,500 votes (80% upvoted) and 370 comments.
Pushing Both Buttons
On November 11th, 2020, visual artist Petirep posted, "I made a new iteration of the classic 'sweaty button pressing' meme" to Twitter, along with an original drawing of the Daily Struggle image where the character is pressing both buttons at once in the first panel, and giving a thumbs-up while smiling in the second (shown below, left). On the same day they posted the image to /r/MemeEconomy. On the same day ShaboomBanana posted the first new version of the meme to Twitter (shown below, right).
On November 12th, Twitter user memessss28 posted a new version of the meme to Twitter garnering over 150 retweets and 450 likes in a month (shown below, left). By early December, versions of the meme began finding success on Reddit. On December 11th, Reddit user hardikupreti posted a version of the meme to /r/dankmemes, garnering over 24,000 upvotes and 20 Reddit awards (shown below, right).
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Facebook’s Oversight Board selected a case appealed by a Facebook user regarding a comment with a meme depicting Turkey having to choose between “The Armenian Genocide is a lie” and “The Armenians were terrorists who deserved it.”
Facebook took down this content for violating its policy on hate speech, as laid out in the Community Standards.
“We do not allow hate speech on Facebook, even in the context of satire, because it creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion, and in some cases, may promote real-world violence,” Facebook said.
“We will implement the board’s decision once it has finished deliberating, and we will update this post accordingly,” it added.
n December 2020, a Facebook user in the United States posted a comment containing an adaptation of the “two buttons” meme. This meme featured the same split-screen cartoon from the original meme, but with the cartoon character’s face substituted for a Turkish flag. The cartoon character has their right hand on their head and appears to be sweating. Above the cartoon character, in the other half of the split-screen, there are two red buttons with corresponding labels, in English: “The Armenian Genocide is a lie” and “The Armenians were terrorists who deserved it.” The meme was preceded and followed by “thinking face” emoji.
The user’s comment was in response to a post containing an image of a person wearing a niqab with overlay text in English saying: “Not all prisoners are behind bars.” At this point, the Board does not have access to all the intervening comments, and the meme may have been a response to one of those intervening comments.
Facebook removed the post under its Cruel and Insensitive Community Standard after one report from another Facebook user. Under this standard, Facebook removes content that “targets victims of serious physical or emotional harm,” including “explicit attempts to mock victims and mark as cruel implicit attempts, many of which take the form of memes and GIFs.” Subsequently, Facebook reclassified its removal to fall under its Hate Speech Community Standard.
Ermenistan Kamu Radyosu
This particular meme (known as “Daily Struggle”) is an image exploit that features a man struggling to decide which of two red buttons to push. Each button features a caption that is diametrically opposed to the other button's caption.
October 25th, 2014 is the day that Jake Clark, an animator posted the initial comic to his Tumblr page. In Clark's version, the character appears distraught over being given the choices "Be a dick" and "Don't be a dick." Clark attribute the comic's inspirations as the Sweating Towel Guy meme and Hank Nova from "Timsplitters 2." The comic has since garnered well over 10,000 notes.
The main benefit of this meme is that it can be used to draw a comedic level of absurdity between two choices with no overlap and draw attention to the potential hypocrisy of trying to hold both points being addressed.
- Trusting in the police to stop a home invader versus the right to bear arms.
- Wanting a normal pizza versus acknowledging pineapple as a valid pizza topping.
- The desire for a woman to be treated like anyone else versus having others cover her part of the bill at dinner.
- Paying money for a cat toy versus scrounging around for a decent-sized box when the cat will either be indifferent or prefer whichever decision you pass up.
Random Meme 🤠
Buttons meme two
Two Buttons Meme Generator
What is the Meme Generator?
It's a free online image maker that lets you add custom resizable text, images, and much more to templates. People often use the generator to customize established memes, such as those found in Imgflip's collection of Meme Templates. However, you can also upload your own templates or start from scratch with empty templates.
How to make a meme
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How can I customize my meme?
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Can I use the generator for more than just memes?
Yes! The Meme Generator is a flexible tool for many purposes. By uploading custom images and using all the customizations, you can design many creative works including posters, banners, advertisements, and other custom graphics.
Can I make animated or video memes?
Yes! Animated meme templates will show up when you search in the Meme Generator above (try "party parrot"). If you don't find the meme you want, browse all the GIF Templates or upload and save your own animated template using the GIF Maker.
Do you have a wacky AI that can write memes for me?
Funny you ask. Why yes, we do. Here you go: imgflip.com/ai-meme (warning, may contain vulgarity)
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