An oversight committee for Facebook's parent company claims it was wrong for the platform to take down a post with a well-known anti-Iranian leader protest slogan.
The use of "marg bar Khamenei" (literally, "death to Khamenei") violated rules, according to Meta moderators in July.
The board disagreed, stating that the phrase did not constitute a credible threat of violence and was instead frequently used rhetorically to mean "down with Khamenei.".
Additionally, it made suggestions "to better protect political speech".
The Oversight Board independently decides what content should be allowed or prohibited on Meta's platforms, which also include Instagram and WhatsApp.
Before authorities started limiting access in September in response to widespread protests against the clerical establishment and Supreme Leader, millions of Iranians relied on Meta's social networks for news. Ahmadinejad Ali Khamenei.
The death in custody of a young woman being held by morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab "improperly" is what started the ongoing unrest, which has been marked by crowds heard chanting the Persian phrase "marg bar Khamenei.".
Authorities have labeled the demonstrations "riots" and used deadly force in response. The Human Rights Activists' News Agency (HRANA) reports that at least 519 protesters have died and 19,300 have been detained so far. Following what the UN has criticized as "unfair trials based on forced confessions," four detainees have been put to death.
According to the Facebook Oversight Board's decision, Meta "must do more to respect freedom of expression in the Iranian context, and permit the use of rhetorical threats.".
"The Iranian government systematically suppresses freedom of expression, and online communities have emerged as a crucial forum for dissent. It is crucial that Meta supports user voices in such circumstances. ".
According to the statement, Meta should have anticipated problems surrounding the anti-government demonstrations that took place on Iran's National Day of Hijab and Chastity in July 2016 and should have told moderators not to remove content that contained the slogan "marg bar Khamenei.".
This case demonstrates how failing to do so resulted in the stifling of political speech aimed at defending women's rights. ".
The board claimed it had made suggestions "to better protect political speech in critical situations, such as that in Iran, where historic, massive protests are being violently put down.".
Additionally, it urged Meta to incorporate the standards by which rhetorical threats against heads of state were accepted into its rules on violent content.
Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine the previous year, Meta briefly permitted its users in some nations to demand the demise of Russian President Vladimir Putin. After the exemption's existence was made known, it reversed the exemption two days later.