Trump Calls Online Bans, Including By Facebook, ‘Total Disgrace’

US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on September 16, 2020, in Washington, DC. MANDEL NGAN / AFP
File photo: US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on September 16, 2020, in Washington, DC. MANDEL NGAN / AFP

 

Donald Trump sought to tighten his grip on the Republican Party Wednesday after an oversight board upheld Facebook’s ban on the former US president, reiterating his false claims of election fraud and attacking his “gutless” Republican critics in Congress.

Despite losing the election to Joe Biden last year and enduring a second impeachment in January after the deadly pro-Trump insurrection at the US Capitol, the brash billionaire remains the GOP’s most influential figure.

Trump blasted party leaders who have publicly reprimanded him, including top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell, or who voted to impeach him in January, most notably congresswoman Liz Cheney, the number three House Republican.

“Warmonger Liz Cheney, who has virtually no support left in the Great State of Wyoming, continues to unknowingly and foolishly say that there was no Election Fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election when in fact, the evidence… shows the exact opposite,” Trump said in a fiery statement.

“Had gutless and clueless MINORITY Leader Mitch McConnell… fought to expose all of the corruption that was presented at the time, with more found since, we would have had a far different Presidential result, and our Country would not be turning into a socialist nightmare,” he said, adding: “Never give up!”

READ ALSO: Facebook Oversight Board Upholds Trump Ban

The statement came minutes after Facebook’s independent oversight board upheld a ban on Trump, while ordering the social media giant to further review the case.

And with Trump openly mulling another run for the White House, his attack appears to be an effort to clip the wings of high-profile Republicans like McConnell and Cheney who have not fallen in line with his false narrative that Biden and other Democrats stole the election.

Cheney, the most senior Republican woman in Congress, is meanwhile facing the most serious challenge yet to her role as House Republican conference chair, with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and number two Steve Scalise signalling they support ousting her from the leadership.

McCarthy was recently caught on a hot mic on Fox News saying he has “lost confidence” in Cheney.

And a Scalise aide confirmed that Scalise “has pledged to support” pro-Trump Republican Elise Stefanik’s bid for conference chair.

AFP

Facebook Oversight Board Upholds Trump Ban

In this photo illustration, a phone screen displays a Facebook logo with the official portrait of former US President Donald Trump on the background. PHOTO: OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP

 

Facebook’s independent oversight board on Wednesday upheld the platform’s ban on former US President Donald Trump but called for a further review of the case within six months.

The board, whose decisions are binding on the leading social network, said Trump “created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible” with his comments regarding the January 6 rampage by his supporters at the US Capitol.

“Given the seriousness of the violations and the ongoing risk of violence, Facebook was justified in suspending Mr. Trump’s accounts on January 6 and extending that suspension on January 7,” the board said after its review.

But the panel added that “it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension” and called for the platform to “review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response” within six months.

“It is not permissible for Facebook to keep a user off the platform for an undefined period, with no criteria for when or whether the account will be restored,” the review board said in its written opinion.

AFP

YouTube Shuts TB Joshua’s Channel, Facebook Removes Some Content

A file photo of Prophet T.B. Joshua.

 

 

YouTube has suspended the account of a TV evangelist and founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, TB Joshua over allegations of “hate speech”.

The channel, which had more than 1.8 million subscribers, was closed down on 12 April after UK-based openDemocracy filed a complaint after reviewing seven videos posted on TB Joshua Ministries’ YouTube channel between 2016 and 2020, which show the preacher conducting prayers to “cure” gay people.

A YouTube spokesperson told openDemocracy that the channel had been closed because its policy, “YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit hate speech and we remove flagged videos and comments that violate these policies. In this case we have terminated the channel”.

YouTube says it “prohibits content which alleges that someone is mentally ill, diseased, or inferior because of their membership in a protected group including sexual orientation”.

The Facebook page, TB Joshua Ministries, which has more than 5.6 million followers says it has “removed a number of pieces of content from this page for violating these policies” unlike YouTube, which terminated the entire channel.

“We don’t allow attacks against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, including content promoting conversion therapy services,” said a Facebook company spokesperson. “We take attacks on the LGBT+ community incredibly seriously and encourage people to report this kind of content when they see it so we can investigate”

Facebook’s hate speech policy “prohibits attacks against people based on their protected characteristics, which include sexual orientation and gender identity”. This includes “content promoting conversion therapy services which aim to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity”.

In reaction to the video streaming platforms’s shut down of it’s channel, the TB Joshua Ministries Facebook account said: “We have had a long and fruitful relationship with YouTube and believe this decision was made in haste.”

Facebook Freezes Venezuela President’s Page Over COVID-19 Misinformation

 

Facebook said Saturday that it was “freezing” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s page for a month after repeated violations of the platform’s rules against Covid-19 misinformation.

The social media giant has faced criticism over the spread of virus-related false information on its network, and has said it is ramping up efforts to fight back.

A Facebook spokesperson said Saturday that Maduro’s page would remain visible but closed to new posts, saying, “Due to repeated violations of our rules, we are also freezing the page for 30 days, during which it will be read-only.”

The spokesperson said Facebook had removed a video from Maduro’s page “for violating our policies against misinformation about Covid-19 that is likely to put people at risk for harm.” It said the administrators of Maduro’s account had previously been warned.

In the video, the socialist leader had promoted the use of the drug Carvativir — saying a few drops under the tongue would provide a “miracle” cure with no side effects — in the latest of a series of remedies he has advocated without medical evidence.

But as the Facebook statement said, citing World Health Organization guidance, “there is currently no medication to cure the virus.”

Maduro had previously lashed out at Facebook and other social media platforms for censuring videos about Carvativir.

– Facebook pledges action –

“They say that until the WHO says yes, I cannot talk about Carvativir,” he said on television in February. “Who is in charge in Venezuela? The owner of Facebook? Who is in charge of the world? The owner of Facebook?”

Facebook says that since the pandemic began, its automated systems have removed more than 12 million posts considered misleading about Covid-19 or the vaccines against it.

The platform, accused in the past of allowing dangerous misinformation about Covid-19 to spread, said in February it was cracking down.

Facebook said it was specifically banning dozens of false claims, such as the assertion that it is safer to get the disease than the vaccine.

The policy covers both Facebook posts and those on Instagram, which Facebook owns.

Venezuela, with a population of around 30 million, has registered nearly 155,000 coronavirus cases and more than 1,500 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University Covid tracker, though Maduro’s political opponents say the government-provided numbers are seriously understated.

Venezuela began a vaccination program in February, starting with health workers, using Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and the Sinopharm vaccine from China. It has said it will soon receive 60,000 doses of a Cuban vaccine.

But Caracas has not authorized the AstraZeneca vaccine, amid questions about possible side effects.

Authorities have become concerned recently about a rise in infections and the appearance of the highly contagious Brazilian strain of the virus.

WhatsApp, Instagram And Facebook Messenger Suffer Downtime

This file photo taken on October 5, 2020, shows logos of US social networks Facebook, Instagram and mobile messaging service WhatsApp on the screens of a smartphone and a tablet in Toulouse, southwestern France. Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP
This file photo taken on October 5, 2020, shows logos of US social networks Facebook, Instagram and mobile messaging service WhatsApp on the screens of a smartphone and a tablet in Toulouse, southwestern France. Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP

 

Social media platforms WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger all went down in a brief outage at around 1730 GMT on Friday, according to the tech monitoring website Downdetector.

However, shortly after 1800 GMT, several WhatsApp users said on social media that they were able to again send messages on the platform.

Instagram also came back after about an hour.

READ ALSO: Twitter Seeks Users’ Opinions On How To Treat World Leaders

All three sites belong to US social giant Facebook, which attributed the outage to unspecified “technical issues” and apologized to users.

The Facebook-owned apps, which have some three billion users worldwide, report occasional outages, including one last July, which often spark an array of comments on other social platforms.

 

 

Facebook Bans Myanmar Military Accounts Citing The Coup

Police advance with heavy construction equipment towards protesters demonstrating against the military coup in Yangon on February 22, 2021. Ye Aung THU / AFP

 

Facebook said it has banned all remaining accounts linked to the Myanmar military on Thursday, citing the junta’s use of deadly force against anti-coup demonstrators.

The move, which takes effect immediately, applies to the military and entities controlled by the armed forces on both Facebook and Instagram.

It also bans “military-linked commercial entities” from advertising on the platforms.

“Events since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have precipitated a need for this ban,” the social media giant said in a statement.

“We believe the risks of allowing the Tatmadaw on Facebook and Instagram are too great,” it added, using the Myanmar name for the country’s armed forces.

The junta has steadily increased its use of force against a massive and largely peaceful civil disobedience campaign demanding Myanmar’s army leaders relinquish power.

Three anti-coup protesters have been killed in demonstrations, while a man patrolling his Yangon neighbourhood against night arrests was also shot dead.

Facebook said its ban was intended to prevent Myanmar’s generals “from abusing our platform”.

The military has used Facebook to boost its claims that voter fraud marred an election last November after ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won in a landslide.

Since seizing power, the junta has arrested hundreds of anti-coup protesters, ordered nightly internet blackouts and banned social media platforms — including Facebook — in an effort to quell resistance.

Thursday’s announcement follows Facebook’s earlier decision to kick off a page run by the regime’s “True News” information service after the tech giant accused it of inciting violence.

Pages for government offices now run by the junta remain unaffected.

“This ban does not cover government ministries and agencies engaged in the provision of essential public services,” the company said. “This includes the Ministry of Health and Sport, and the Ministry of Education.”

In recent years, hundreds of army-linked pages have been blocked by Facebook after the social media giant came under heavy criticism for its ineffective response to malicious posts in the country.

Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing and other top brass were booted from the platform in 2018, a year after a military-led crackdown forced around 750,000 members of the Rohingya Muslim community to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh.

Facebook admitted that year it had failed to do enough to prevent the incitement of violence in Myanmar.

“We can and should do more,” Facebook executive Alex Warofka said at the time.

AFP

Facebook Pledges $1 Bn In News Investments Over 3 Years

In this file illustration photo taken on March 25, 2020, a Facebook app logo is displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP
In this file illustration photo taken on March 25, 2020, a Facebook app logo is displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP

 

Facebook on Wednesday pledged to invest at least $1 billion to support journalism over the next three years as the social media giant defended its handling of a dispute with Australia over payments to media organizations.

Nick Clegg, head of global affairs, said in a statement that the company stands ready to support news media while reiterating its concerns over mandated payments.

“Facebook is more than willing to partner with news publishers,” Clegg said after Facebook restored news links as part of a compromise with Australian officials.

“We absolutely recognize quality journalism is at the heart of how open societies function — informing and empowering citizens and holding the powerful to account.”

Facebook and Google have both devoted money to supporting journalism in the past, citing its critical role in democracies.

Clegg defended the California titan in a blog post titled “The Real Story of What Happened With News on Facebook in Australia.”

The social media platform came under fire after it blanked out the pages of media outlets for Australian users and blocked them from sharing any news content, rather than submit to the proposed legislation.

Clegg contended in his post that at the heart of the controversy is a misunderstanding about the relationship between Facebook and news publishers.

News groups share their stories at the social network, or make them available for Facebook users to share with features such as buttons designed into websites, Clegg noted.

Facebook drove some 5.1 such “free referrals” to Australian news publishers last year, worth an estimated 407 million Australian dollars, according to Clegg.

“The assertions — repeated widely in recent days — that Facebook steals or takes original journalism for its own benefit always were and remain false,” Clegg said.

“We neither take nor ask for the content for which we were being asked to pay a potentially exorbitant price.”

‘Erred’ enforcement

Clegg said that to comply with the law as originally proposed in Australia, “Facebook would have been forced to pay potentially unlimited amounts of money to multi-national media conglomerates under an arbitration system that deliberately misdescribes the relationship between publishers and Facebook.”

He maintained that in blacking out all news in the country, “we erred on the side of over-enforcement” and acknowledged that “some content was blocked inadvertently” before being restored.

After two decades of light-touch regulation, tech giants such as Google and Facebook are coming under increased government scrutiny.

In Australia, regulators have zeroed in on their online advertising dominance and its impact on struggling news media.

According to Australia’s competition watchdog, for every $100 spent on online advertising, Google captures $53, Facebook takes $28 and the rest is shared among others.

To level the playing field, Australia wants Google and Facebook to pay for using expensive-to-produce news content in their searches and feeds.

“It is understandable that some media conglomerates see Facebook as a potential source of money to make up for their losses, but does that mean they should be able to demand a blank check?” Clegg asked rhetorically.

“It’s like forcing car makers to fund radio stations because people might listen to them in the car — and letting the stations set the price.”

World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee recently warned that introducing the precedent of charging for links could open a Pandora’s Box of monetary claims that would break the internet.

Facebook To Restore Australia News, Pay Media Companies

In this file illustration photo taken on March 25, 2020, a Facebook App logo is displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP
In this file illustration photo taken on March 25, 2020, a Facebook App logo is displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP

 

Facebook said Tuesday it will lift a contentious ban on Australian news and pay local media companies for content, after a last-gasp deal on pending landmark legislation.

Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced a face-saving compromise that will see Google and Facebook plunge tens of millions of dollars into the struggling local news sector.

In return, the US digital firms will, for now, avoid being subjected to mandatory payments that could cost them vastly more and create what they see as an alarming global precedent.

Just hours after the compromise was unveiled, Facebook announced its first proposed deal with an Australian media company, Seven West, and was said to be pursuing commercial deals with other local news organizations.

READ ALSO: US Lawmakers To Open Hearing On ‘Meme Stock’ Frenzy

The company is expected to use the content to launch a dedicated news product in Australia later this year.

“As a result of these changes, we can now work to further our investment in public interest journalism, and restore news on Facebook for Australians in the coming days,” said Will Easton, managing director of Facebook Australia.

The social media firm sparked global outrage last week by blacking out news for its Australian users in protest at the proposed legislation, and inadvertently blocking a series of non-news Facebook pages linked to everything from cancer charities to emergency response services.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison had angrily accused Facebook of making a decision to “unfriend” Australia.

Google has already brokered deals worth millions of dollars with local media companies, including the two largest: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Nine Entertainment.

Commentators described the eleventh-hour amendments — which came as parliament looks set to pass the law this week — as “a reasonable compromise”.

“Everybody can walk away saying, well we got what we wanted,” University of New South Wales business professor Rob Nicholls told AFP.

Both companies now have an additional two months to reach further agreements that would stave off binding arbitration.

 

– Precedent-setting –

The tech firms had fiercely opposed the legislation from the get-go, fearing it would threaten their business models.

In particular, the companies objected to rules that made negotiations with media companies mandatory and gave an independent Australian arbiter the right to impose a monetary settlement.

That process will now be avoided if companies are deemed to have made a “significant contribution” to the Australian news industry through unspecified “commercial agreements”.

“We now face the strange possibility that the news media mandatory code could be passed by parliament and it applies to precisely no one,” said Marcus Strom, head of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, a union.

“It will just sit in the Treasurer’s (drawer) as a threat to misbehaving digital companies.”

Google was also keen to avoid creating a precedent that platforms should pay anyone for links, something that could make their flagship search engine unworkable.

Facebook — which is much less reliant on news content — had initially said being forced to pay for news was simply not worth it and shut down content.

“There is no doubt that Australia has been a proxy battle for the world,” said Frydenberg.

Critics of the law say it punishes innovative companies and amounts to a money grab by struggling but politically connected traditional media.

Thousands of journalism jobs and scores of news outlets have been lost in Australia alone over the past decade as the sector watched advertising revenue flow to the digital players.

For every $100 spent by Australian advertisers today, $49 goes to Google and $24 to Facebook, according to the country’s competition watchdog.

Tech insiders see the legislation as driven, in particular, by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which dominates the local media landscape and has close ties with Australia’s conservative government.

A new provision in the law gives Facebook and Google more discretion over who they do deals with, and what the sums involved would be.

“We have come to an agreement that will allow us to support the publishers we choose to, including small and local publishers,” said Facebook vice president for global news partnerships Campbell Brown.

Facebook and Google could still face the prospect of having to replicate deals with media worldwide, as the European Union, Canada and other jurisdictions move to regulate the sector.

Since their emergence around the turn of the century, Google and Facebook have been largely unregulated and have grown into two of the world’s largest and most profitable companies.

But a string of scandals about misinformation, privacy violations, data harvesting and their virtual monopoly on online advertising has triggered the attention of watchdogs.

AFP

Facebook To Restore Australia News Pages After Deal On Media Law

In this file illustration photo taken on March 25, 2020, a Facebook app logo is displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP
In this file illustration photo taken on March 25, 2020, a Facebook app logo is displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP

 

Facebook said Tuesday it will lift a contentious ban on Australian news pages, after the government agreed to amend a world-first law requiring tech giants to pay media companies.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook said a compromise had been reached on key aspects of the law, which was fiercely opposed by the tech companies.

“As a result of these changes, we can now work to further our investment in public interest journalism, and restore news on Facebook for Australians in the coming days,” said Will Easton, managing director of Facebook Australia.

The social media firm sparked global outrage last week by blacking out news for its Australian users and inadvertently blocking a series of non-news Facebook pages linked to everything from cancer charities to emergency response services.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison had angrily accused Facebook of making a decision to “unfriend” Australia.

But the last minute compromise — as parliament looks set to pass the law this week — means that Facebook and Google, which was also targetted, will not be penalised so long as they reach some deals with local media firms to pay for news.

They will also get an additional two months to broker those agreements.

“We’re pleased that we’ve been able to reach an agreement with the Australian government and appreciate the constructive discussions we’ve had” said Easton.

– Precedent-setting -The tech firms had fiercely opposed the legislation from the get-go, fearing it would create international precedent that would threaten their business models.

“There is no doubt that Australia has been a proxy battle for the world,” said Frydenberg.

In particular, the companies objected to rules that made negotiations with media companies mandatory and gave an independent Australian arbiter the right to impose a settlement.

Google was keen to avoid creating a precedent that platforms should pay anyone for links, something they could make their flagship search engine unworkable.

Facebook — which is much less reliant on news content — had said being forced to pay for news was simply not worth it.

“We have come to an agreement that will allow us to support the publishers we choose to, including small and local publishers,” said Facebook vice president for global news partnerships Campbell Brown.

Despite earlier threats to pull its services from Australia over the legislation, Google had already softened its stance and brokered deals worth millions of dollars with a host of local media companies, including the two largest: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and Nine Entertainment.

Facebook and Google still face the prospect of having to agree deals with media around the world, as the European Union, Canada and other jurisdictions move to regulate the sector.

Since their emergence around the turn of the century, Google and Facebook have been largely unregulated and have grown into two of the world’s largest and most profitable companies.

But a string of scandals about misinformation, privacy violations, data harvesting and their virtual monopoly on online advertising has triggered the attention of watchdogs.

For every $100 spent by Australian advertisers today, $49 goes to Google and $24 to Facebook, according to the country’s competition watchdog.

Critics of the law have said it is punishing successful companies and amounts to a money grab by struggling but politically connected traditional media.

They also lament that there is no requirement in the law that money gained by the media companies from Facebook and Google be spent on expanding public interest journalism rather than just boost profits.

Thousands of journalism jobs and scores of news outlets have been lost in Australia alone over the past decade as the sector watched advertising revenue flow to the digital players.

Trump Critics Call For Permanent Facebook Ban Of Ex-President

 

Calling Donald Trump a “clear and present danger,” a group of scholars and civil rights advocates on Friday urged Facebook to permanently ban the former US president from the platform.

The group, which includes prominent longtime critics of the social media company, called on Facebook’s oversight board to remove Trump from the omnipresent platform after the ex-president’s account was frozen in the aftermath of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Facebook’s oversight board has the final say on what is removed or allowed to remain on the world’s biggest social network, but the group warned of the dangers of allowing Trump to return.

“Overturning the Trump ban is an invitation to violence, hate and disinformation that will cost lives and undermine democracy,” the group said in a letter to the board. “Don’t strike the match.”

They described Trump as a serial abuser of social media rules who poses a danger “to democracy and human life.”

Rival social media giant Twitter banned Trump after January 6 and on Wednesday announced the former president will not be permitted back on the network he used constantly, even if he runs for office again.

“Our policies are designed to ensure that people are not inciting violence,” Twitter Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal said on CNBC.

Conservatives on Capitol Hill and beyond say the moves by Facebook and Twitter to “deplatform” Trump demonstrate political bias and inhibit free speech.

In the letter to Facebook’s board, the group also lambasts the social media company for employing the board as a “fig leaf” to evade responsibility for tough decisions.

“More than ever, this demonstrates why we need independent, democratically accountable oversight,” the group said.

They also called for “laws that change financial incentives for big tech, heavy regulation and a reckoning with the algorithms that are laying waste to democratic society.”

Signers of the letter include Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change; Anti-Defamation League head Jonathan Greenblatt; and Harvard professor Lawrence Tribe.

Facebook and its Instagram platform suspended Trump after his supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, an attack on the seat of democracy that led to Trump’s second impeachment by lawmakers.

Members of Facebook’s oversight board come from various countries and include jurists, human rights activists, journalists, a Nobel peace laureate and a former Danish prime ministe

Facebook Rolls Out News Feeds With Less Politics

In this file illustration photo taken on March 25, 2020, a Facebook app logo is displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP
In this file illustration photo taken on March 25, 2020, a Facebook app logo is displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP

 

 

Facebook said Wednesday it began rolling out news feeds with less political subject matter in line with a plan outlined by chief Mark Zuckerberg to reduce inflammatory content.

The leading social network said it would begin testing the change “for a small percentage of people” in Canada, Brazil and Indonesia this week, and the United States in the coming weeks.

“During these initial tests we’ll explore a variety of ways to rank political content in people’s feeds using different signals, and then decide on the approaches we’ll use going forward,” product management director Aastha Gupta said.

The change won’t affect information about the Covid-19 pandemic and content from global health organizations or from official government agencies.

“As Mark Zuckerberg mentioned on our recent earnings call, one common piece of feedback we hear is that people don’t want political content to take over their News Feed,” Gupta said.

“Over the next few months, we’ll work to better understand peoples’ varied preferences for political content and test a number of approaches based on those insights.”

The move comes with Facebook and other platforms under fire for enabling political misinformation and manipulation, notably during election periods.

Zuckerberg said last month Facebook is seeking to “turn down the temperature” on its sprawling platform by reducing the kind of divisive and inflammatory political talk it has long hosted.

He said the social media giant will no longer recommend politics-themed groups to users and was working on ways to reduce the amount of political content served up in users’ news feeds by its automated systems.

“We’re still going to enable people to engage in political groups and discussions if they want to,” Zuckerberg said last month.

Facebook Review Board In First Action Overturns Four Content-Removal Rulings

In this file photo illustration, a Facebook App logo is displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP
In this file photo illustration, a Facebook App logo is displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP

 

Facebook’s new oversight board said Thursday in its first rulings that in four of five cases it had considered, the company was wrong to remove controversial posts from the platform.

These did not include Donald Trump’s indefinite suspension from Facebook and Instagram after the storming of the US Capitol, but the board said last week it agreed to consider that case.

The Oversight Board said it was overturning the platform’s ruling in four of the five cases it looked at and ordering that the disputed content be restored to Facebook.

These four included, for example, a post that asserted that France lacked a health care strategy and included claims that a cure for Covid-19 exists.

This post was initially removed on grounds that it contributed to “risk of imminent … physical harm.” But the review board said Facebook’s rule on misinformation and imminent harm was “inappropriately vague.”

Another case involved nudity. An Instagram user in Brazil had posted pictures of women’s nipples as part of a breast cancer awareness message. It was removed, but the board said Thursday these five photos should be allowed in light of Facebook’s own policy exception for breast cancer awareness.

READ ALSO: One Third Of Africa Will Be Vaccinated This Year – WHO

The board said that since it started accepting cases in October of last year, more than 150,000 cases have been appealed to the panel.

“As we cannot hear every appeal, we are prioritizing 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 Facebook’s policies,” the board said in a statement.

Facebook’s oversight board is tasked with making final decisions on appeals regarding what is removed or allowed to remain on the world’s biggest social network.

It is considering cases involving Nazi propaganda, hate speech, nudity, pandemic misinformation, and dangerous individuals or organizations.

Launch of the panel came late last year amid rising concerns about misinformation and manipulation around the US presidential election.

The board was created at the urging of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with the authority to overrule him and other top executives.

Facebook has agreed to be bound by decisions on appeals, but rulings will only apply to cases at issue and will not set precedents.

Members of the oversight board come from various countries and include jurists, human rights activists, journalists, a Nobel peace laureate and a former Danish prime minister.