Facebook Finally To Launch Its Oversight Board

Facebook users will have the option to appeal the platform's decisions to censor some posts through an oversight board.

It has been a year since Facebook initially announced the board, but it will not launch officially until after the U.S. election. CEO Mark Zuckerberg first outlined his vision in 2018.

"Over the next few weeks, our nearly 3 billion users will have access to independent review of difficult content decisions," the company wrote in blog post.

The social network describes the Oversight Board as a global body of experts separate from Facebook that will make independent and binding decisions on the cases they choose to hear. If someone’s content is removed from Facebook or Instagram, and they have exhausted their appeals with Facebook, they can now appeal their case to the Oversight Board.



The board, according to Facebook, aims to uphold “respect for free expression, through independent judgment.” The 20-member board comprise people from around the world, including Endy Bayuni, senior editor and board member for the Jakarta Post; Evelyn Aswad, professor and chair, University of Oklahoma College of Law; Julie Owono, executive director for Internet Sans Frontières; and 15 more.

The board, created in response to the way Facebook handles problematic content, will rule on whether posts and content should be removed on Facebook and Instagram, and can also recommend policy changes.

Takedown requests can also be submitted by users.

Facebook also appointed Chairperson Paul G. Haaga, Jr. for the Trust. Trustees are responsible for ensuring that the Board is operating correctly.

The board initially was built with a $130 million trust independent from the social media company.

Members have begun working together to determine how the board will select and decide cases.

During the coming weeks, Facebook will share details on the first cases that the Board is considering, as well as opening the public comment process for third parties to share relevant views and expertise to support the Board’s deliberation process.

In September, 25 experts from academia, civil rights, politics and journalism took matters into their own hands and created what they call The Real Facebook Oversight Board, but commentary from the first meeting via video may not actually have clout.

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