Meta’s Oversight Board will wade into the debate over political content on Threads

The group has accepted its first case involving a post on Threads.


Meta’s Oversight Board has accepted its first case involving a post on Threads and it will allow the group to weigh in on the debate over the role of political content on Threads. The board, which started taking appeals from Threads users earlier this year, announced its first case involving Meta’s newest app.

The case stems from a post by a Japanese user who was replying to a screenshot of a news article about Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and allegations of tax evasion. The reply, according to the board, included “several hashtags using the phrase ‘drop dead.’” Meta’s content moderators removed the post, citing the company’s rules against inciting violence. But after the user appealed to the Oversight Board and had the case accepted, Meta reversed course, saying that the post didn’t violate its rules after all.

All that may sound like a fairly typical case for the board, which regularly reviews Meta’s content moderation decisions and pushes the social media company to change its policies. But it’s the first time the group will apply that same process to Threads. And the board has suggested it will use the case to weigh in on the company’s controversial decision to stop showing political content in its algorithmic recommendations on Threads and Instagram.

“The Board selected this case to examine Meta’s content moderation policies and enforcement practices on political content on Threads,” the Oversight Board wrote in a statement. “This is particularly important, in the context of Meta’s decision not to proactively recommend political content on Threads.”

As usual, it will likely be several months before we see the Oversight Board’s decision actually play out in any policy changes at Meta. In the meantime, the board is seeking public comment on “how Meta’s choice not to recommend political content on Threads and Instagram newsfeeds, or pages not followed by users, affects access to information and political speech.”