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Meta Oversight Board Can Start Applying Warning Screens to Content

These labels would be applied to certain photos and videos.

Meta's "sensitive content" warning label
The oversight board can now start applying these labels.
James Martin/CNET

Meta's independent oversight board said Thursday that it can apply or remove warning screens and labels to posts on Facebook and Instagram starting this month. The warning screens include labeling content as "disturbing" or "sensitive." Meta can already apply these warning screens.

These labels would be applied when "leaving up or restoring qualifying content," including to photos and videos.

Several instances cited by the board where a warning screen should apply are in relation to graphic videos from Sudan that show things like human rights abuses.

"The Charter and Bylaws are set up for the board's scope to grow and evolve over time," a Meta spokesperson told CNET. "Ultimately, we want to continue to expand the scope of the board to ensure additional checks and balances into our most significant and difficult decisions."

The oversight board's first 20 members were announced in 2020. The board currently consists of 23 academics, lawyers and experts in other fields from around the world. 

While the board is indirectly funded by a $130 million Meta trust fund, the company said it will abide by the board's decisions, even when they are in disagreement.

"We are committed to making principled, independent decisions that are binding on Facebook about important pieces of content and by issuing advisory opinions on Facebook's content policies," the board says on its website.