New Case Involves Video From Iran for a Child Marriage

Today, the Board is announcing a new case for consideration. As part of this, we are inviting people and organizations to submit public comments by using the button below.

Case Selection

As we cannot hear every appeal, the Board prioritizes cases that have the potential to affect lots of users around the world, are of critical importance to public discourse or raise important questions about Meta’s policies.

The case that we are announcing today is:

Iranian Make-Up Video for a Child Marriage

2024-037-IG-MR

Case Referred by Meta

Submit a public comment using the button below

To read this announcement in Farsi, click here.

برای خواندن این اطلاعیه به زبان فارسی، در اینجا کلیک کنید.

In January 2024, an Instagram user posted a short video in Farsi on their account. The account shares information about beauty salon services and a beauty school in Iran. In the video, a beautician prepares a 14-year-old girl for her wedding, with clips showing the child before and after her make-up session. The beautician and the child talk about education, age, marriage arrangements and the results of the make-up session.

The text overlay on the video states the child is the youngest bride of the year. The caption, also in Farsi, provides details for the beautician’s services. The content was viewed about 10.9 million times, received about 200,000 reactions, about 20,000 comments and was shared less than 1,000 times.

The content was reported by 203 users and was also detected and prioritized by Meta’s HERO system, which is designed to identify potentially violating content predicted to have a high likelihood of going viral. Following human review, Meta concluded the content did not violate any of its policies and kept it up.

In February 2024, the content was then escalated by one of Meta’s Trusted Partners for additional human review. At this stage, following policy and subject matter experts’ review, Meta removed the video for violating its Human Exploitation policy, which prohibits sharing “content that recruits people for, facilitates, or exploits people through any of the following forms of human trafficking: … [including] Forced marriages.” Meta informed the Board that it considers child marriage a form of forced marriage as minors under the age of 18 cannot fully consent.

The company explained that while the Human Exploitation policy does not explicitly prohibit support or praise for child marriage, it aims to eradicate all types of “exploitation of humans,” which includes supporting child marriage. This is especially relevant when the content may result in financial gain for the user.

Meta referred this case to the Board, noting that it represents tension in the company’s values of voice, safety, privacy and dignity. Meta considers this case significant and difficult because “it highlights the issue of promotion or glorification of human exploitation (including child marriage), which is not explicitly covered under [Meta’s] policies … and because child marriages are legal in certain jurisdictions but criticized as a violation of human rights law by others.”

The Board selected this case to assess the impact of Meta’s Human Exploitation and Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Nudity Community Standards on the rights of children, particularly girls involved in child marriages. It also provides an opportunity for the Board to consider how content should be moderated when gender norms differ significantly across the world. The case falls within the Board’s strategic priorities of Gender and Treating Users Fairly.

The Board would appreciate public comments that address:

  • The religious, cultural, legal, economic and political landscape influencing child marriage practices in Iran, and the impact on women and girls.
  • Similar factors that influence child marriage practices in countries, regions and communities (including indigenous peoples), where it is most common.
  • How international human rights standards apply to child marriage and displays or expressions of praise or support for it.
  • The impact on the human rights of children, especially girls, of marriage being allowed under the age of 18.
  • Online trends in content about child marriage on social media and how they influence the social perception of this issue, particularly in countries and regions in which child marriage is most common.
  • Whether Meta’s Human Exploitation and Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Nudity policies adequately protect the rights of children, especially girls, involved in child marriages, and how these policies should approach content depicting child marriage in general.

As part of its decisions, the Board can issue policy recommendations to Meta. While recommendations are not binding, Meta must respond to them within 60 days. As such, the Board welcomes public comments proposing recommendations that are relevant to this case.

Public Comments

If you or your organization feel you can contribute valuable perspectives that can help with reaching a decision on the case announced today, you can submit your contributions using the button below. Please note that public comments can be provided anonymously. The public comment window is open for 14 days, closing at 23.59 Pacific Standard Time (PST) on Thursday 20 June.

What’s Next

Over the next few weeks, Board Members will be deliberating this case. Once they have reached their decision, we will post it on the Decisions page.

Volver a Noticias