Facebook to create Oversight Board for content decisions

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As Facebook gradually addresses concerns over its recent decisions, and as it seeks to continue as a tech firm, it has drawn plans for a new, independent oversight board.

The board will provide an updated framework for regulations on published posts and other content, giving another avenue to appeal editing decisions.

After months of gathering feedback worldwide, Facebook has released a framework document to govern the development of its content review body.

The initial deliberations led to the following key points:

  • Independence – Facebook says organizations, watchdogs, and governments need a self-governing group not influenced by Facebook management, governments or third parties.

“The board will need a strong foundation for its decision-making, a set of higher-order principles – informed by free expression and international human rights law – that it can refer to when prioritizing values like safety and voice, privacy and equality”.

  • Selection – Facebook says another important subject is how exactly the board will choose and hear cases, and deliberate results. Facebook says “the board may need to consult experts with specific cultural knowledge, technical expertise and an understanding of content moderation”.
  • Diversity – Facebook says the oversight board must be “as diverse as the many people on Facebook and Instagram.”

“These members should be experts who come from different backgrounds, different disciplines, and different viewpoints, but who can all represent the interests of a global community.”

Facebook says it plans to abridge the requirements into a board comprised of 40 people.

The oversight board will run the firm’s more debatable content opinions. It will consider what’s best for the platform moving forward.

This is a key initiative for Facebook. Not only will it protect users better and improve internal processes, but it also adds government regulation, and stop the firm from gaining more intense scrutiny from watchdogs.

If Facebook submits to extensive regulation, it will may lose creativity and some level of control over its platform. The development of an independent oversight board may help avoid it. And it may meet the diverse needs of global communities.

Another benefit is for Facebook to expand into new regions. With the scale and influence, and the potential for abuse, the social network has become a concern for governments. And some governments control the media inputs of their citizens.

If Facebook can show that its editing decisions are not from internal management, but from an autonomous oversight board with relevant experts, it may ease concerns and open new areas for expansion.

Facebook published an infographic to outline its process of establishing the oversight board.

 

facebook oversight board content decisions


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Author: Francis Rey

Francis is a voracious reader and prolific writer. His work appears on SocialBarrel.com and several other websites, covering social media, technology and other niches.

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