New Delhi: Meta platforms on Tuesday announced that it would lift its blanket ban on the word “shaheed,” which means “martyr” in English. This decision follows a year-long review by its oversight board, which concluded that the company’s approach to banning the word was “overbroad,” according to a report by Reuters.

For years the company has faced criticism for its handling of content related to the Middle East. A 2021 study, which Meta itself commissioned found that its approach had a negative impact on the human rights of Palestinians and other Arabic-speaking users of its services. (Also Read: Reliance Jio Vs Bharti Airtel: New Mobile Tariff From Today, 3 July 2024 –Check Complete Plan And Price Chart)

Hostilities between Israel and Hamas began in October and since then the criticism of the company has intensified. The oversight board funded by Meta but operating independently started its review last year because the word “shaheed” led to more content removals on the company’s platforms than any other single word or phrase. (Also Read: MSI Launches Its First-Ever Windows 11-Based Gaming Console And Laptop In India; Check Specs, Price)

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram conducted a review in March and found that its rules on the word ”shaheed” were too broad. The review also revealed that the word has various meanings and the company’s rules led to the removal of content that did not praise violent actions.

Meta acknowledged the findings of the review on Tuesday and said its tests showed that removing content when “shaheed” was “paired with otherwise violating content captures the most potentially harmful content without disproportionally impacting the voice”.

The oversight board welcomed the change, saying Meta’s policy related to the word had led to the censoring of millions of people across its platforms. (With Reuters Input)