On Tuesday, Facebook announced that this platform will allow a new outside oversight board to make final decisions on whether individual pieces of content can be displayed on the social media site, but the group won’t be able to make policy changes.
Currently, Facebook has around 2.4 billion monthly users and is moving to take down objectionable videos and photos after long-term criticism for doing too little to combat hate speech, cyberbullying, and other content that violates the site’s “community standards.” The board is meant as a type of appeals body through which users can challenge company decisions on controversial content.
Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook Chief Executive mentioned in a statement that “The board’s decision will be binding, even if I or anyone at Facebook disagrees with it,” referring to calls on specific content, such as photos and videos.
Currently, Facebook has made a charter for the group, now updated, after a global consultation process.
Facebook will be required to respond publicly to any recommendations the board makes, While the new board cannot make policy.
Thomas Kadri, a resident fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project who was invited to one of Facebook’s feedback sessions mentioned that “I was a little surprised and frankly a little disappointed in the fact that they seem to be viewing the scope of the board’s ‘binding’ authority so narrowly,”
Facebook also mentioned that this company expects to announce some users by the end of this year and that the board should start hearing cases in early 2020.
Both Facebook and its users will be able to submit cases and decisions will be made by panels of five members and then sent to the rest of the board.
Every board member, whose positions are part-time, will be screened for conflicts of interest, including links to Facebook.