Meta’s Oversight Board said that Meta should not have complied with a request from London’s Metropolitan Police to ban a drill music track. Drill music is a rap genre that politicians and law enforcement agencies have associated with gang violence.
In January, rapper Chinx (OS) posted a video of his song “Secrets Not Safe.” Shortly after posting the song on Instagram, Meta received an email from the police requesting the removal of the song. Meta escalated the case to a team for special consideration, and ruled that it violated its policies because it referenced a shooting that took place in 2017 and included what police believed to be a “threatening call to action.”
After the song was removed, Chinx appealed and had it reinstated by a moderator who was not part of the special consideration team. The decision was overruled and the song got banned again after a week, again following a request by the police.
The board questioned whether Meta considered the context, or simply compiled because it was a request from the police.
“Not every piece of content that law enforcement would prefer to have taken down — and not even every piece of content that has the potential to lead to escalating violence — should be taken down,” the board wrote in its decision.
Social media platforms are less transparent about informal requests like the email from the Met.