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Meta restores video of sexual assault on Adivasi woman citing newsworthiness

Meta restores video of sexual assault on Adivasi woman citing newsworthiness

New Delhi: A video that allegedly showed a group of men sexually assaulting an Adivasi woman was restored on Instagram after its parent company Meta's oversight board upheld the newsworthiness of the content.

The board made the decision on Wednesday, December 14.

The video in question was posted in March 2022 by an Instagram self-described as a platform for Dalit perspectives. The video's caption said the victim is a "tribal woman" and she was sexually assaulted and harassed by a group of men in public. The video went viral. Out of the page's 30,000 followers, most of them are located in India.

When it was posted, a user reported the post for violating its adult sexual exploitation policy which prohibits content that 'depicts, threatens or promotes sexual violence, sexual assault or sexual exploitation.' Meta removed the post for the same reason. After learning about the issue, a Meta employee flagged the action which led to the internal team reviewing the content.

The internal teams found that the video had social relevance and applied a "newsworthiness allowance" which allows otherwise violating content to remain on Meta's platforms if it is newsworthy. The social media company restored the content and placed it behind a warning screen to prevent minors from seeing it.

Meta's board said the woman's face is not visible in the video. "The board has upheld Meta's decision to restore a post to Instagram containing a video of a woman being sexually assaulted by a group of men. The board has found that Meta's 'newsworthiness allowance' is inadequate in resolving cases such as this at scale and that the company should introduce an exception to its adult sexual exploitation policy," reported PTI.

"The board finds that restoring the content to the platform, with the warning screen, is consistent with Meta's values and human rights responsibilities. The warning screen, which prevents people under 18 from viewing the video, helps to protect the dignity of the victim and protects children and victims of sexual harassment from exposure to disturbing or traumatising content. The video does not include explicit content or nudity, and the majority of the board members found that the victim is not identifiable," added the board.

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TAGS:FacebookInstagramMetaAdivasi womantribal woman
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