According to reports, the Meta Oversight Board expressed their views that Instagram should not have gone ahead and banned a drill song from its platform after a request to do so from the London Metropolitan Police. The decision, posted on their website on Tuesday (November 22nd), also recommended that Meta reverse their decision and respond to their policy recommendations within 60 days. They also requested that the company provide more transparency about their relationship with law enforcement going forward.
The review relates to an incident in January involving the song “Secrets Not Safe” by UK drill rapper Chinx (OS) and its music video. Clips from the video posted to Instagram were flagged by law enforcement officials in the UK, stating that they “could contribute to a risk of offline harm,” according to the Oversight Board’s summary. Experts noted the song referencing a past shooting incident and escalated the review, which led to the content being removed under its Violence and Incitement rule.
In its decision, the Oversight Board now says that there was inconsistent enforcement to begin with, and noted that unclear interaction of social media and law enforcement that compels Meta & other networks to be less open about requests from law enforcement. This case demonstrates the level of privileged access law enforcement has to Meta’s internal enforcement teams,” said the board.
The board’s decision also called for law enforcement to provide a minimum standard of detail in future requests, and took Meta to task for going back on its values – particularly in providing a “voice” for users. “Art is a particularly important and powerful expression of ‘Voice,’ especially for people from marginalized groups creating art informed by their experiences,” it continued.
The decision could help anti-censorship advocates who have monitored similar cases in the United States. As for Chinx (OS), his account was permanently banned from Instagram as a result of the initial decision from Meta.