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Facebook to create 'oversight' board in 2020


By John Glenday, Reporter

September 18, 2019 | 3 min read

Facebook has vowed to further tighten moderation of its social network by establishing an independent ‘oversight’ board with the power to make decisions over what material is permissible.


Facebook to create an arm’s length 'oversight' board

The new panel, which will not convene until next year, would have the power to arbitrate on contentious content, potentially overriding decisions made by Facebook's own moderators as well as informing future policy direction on the matter.

No names have been given for the putative panel but the expectation is that it will launch with 11 part-time members before eventually stretching to 40 people drawn from a diverse range of backgrounds from around the globe.

Their remit has been outlined in a three-point charter which states that the panels should ‘Provide oversight of Facebook’s content decisions’; ‘Reverse Facebook’s decisions when necessary’ and ‘be an independent authority outside of Facebook’.

Serving as an ultimate authority the panel would only deliberate on cases chosen by Facebook itself with the total number capped at ‘dozens’ per year, centred exclusively on issues which promised to deliver ‘the greatest public benefit’.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said: "The board's decision will be binding, even if I or anyone at Facebook disagrees with it. The board will use our values to inform its decisions and explain its reasoning openly and in a way that protects people's privacy."

Facebook is in the midst of a broader drive to improve trust and transparency in its operations following a series of privacy and fake news scandals which has already seen it sign up to Jicwebs brand safety certification.


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