Oversight Board (Facebook)
The Oversight Board is a body that makes content moderation decisions on the social media platform Facebook. Shortly after a meeting with Harvard Law School professor Noah Feldman who had proposed the creation of a quasi-judiciary on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg approved the creation of the board in November 2018. The first members of the board were announced on May 6, 2020.
Facebook said the board's members have lived in 27 countries and speak at least 29 languages, though a quarter of the group and two of the four co-chairs are from the United States, where the company is headquartered. The co-chairs, who selected the other members jointly with Facebook, are former U.S. federal circuit judge and religious freedom expert Michael McConnell, constitutional law expert Jamal Greene, Colombian attorney Catalina Botero-Marino and former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Among the initial cohort are: former European Court of Human Rights judge András Sajó, Internet Sans Frontières Executive Director Julie Owono, Yemeni activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman, former editor-in-chief of The Guardian Alan Rusbridger, and Pakistani digital rights advocate Nighat Dad.
It officially began its work on October 22, 2020.
In November 2018, Facebook proposed creating a content oversight board that would make content moderation decisions on the platform. Among the goals for this board include improving the fairness of the appeals process, give oversight and accountability from an outside source, and improve transparency.
Zuckerberg initially described the Oversight Board as a "Supreme Court", given its role in settlement, negotiation, and mediation proceedings. The Oversight Board has the ability to overrule content moderation decisions by intermediaries by applying Facebook's policies and considering the public interest. The Oversight Board is modeled after the United States' federal judicial system, as the Oversight Board gives precedential value to previous board decisions.
In January 2019, Facebook received a draft charter for the board and began a period of public consultations and workshops with experts, institutions, and people around the world. In June 2019, Facebook released a 250-page report summarizing the findings from the period of public consultation, and announced that they are in the process of looking for people to serve on the 40-person board.
In July 2020 it was announced that the board would not start work until "later in the year".
It started hearing cases on October 22, 2020.
On January 28, 2021, the board overturned four moderation decisions made by Facebook. Facebook's deplatforming of Donald Trump was not in the initial decisions; the board was at the time collecting public comment prior to a future decision.
The 20 members of the Oversight Board were announced on May 6, 2020.
|Catalina Botero Marino, co-chair||Colombia||2020–||Dean of Law Faculty at Universidad de los Andes|
|Jamal Greene, co-chair||United States of America||2020–||Professor at Columbia Law|
|Michael McConnell, co-chair||United States of America||2020–||Constitutional law professor at Stanford Law|
|Helle Thorning-Schmidt, co-chair||Denmark||2020–||Former prime minister of Denmark|
|Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei||Ghana; South Africa||2020–||Human rights lawyer|
|Evelyn Aswad||United States of America||2020–||Law professor at University of Oklahoma College of Law|
|Katherine Chen||Taiwan||2020–||Public relations and statistics professor at National Chengchi University|
|Nighat Dad||Pakistan||2020–||Lawyer and internet activist|
|Pamela S. Karlan||United States of America||2020–2021||Stanford Law professor and US Supreme Court advocate|
|Tawakkol Karman||Yemen||2020–||Journalist and human rights activist|
|Maina Kiai||Kenya||2020–||Lawyer and human rights activist|
|Sudhir Krishnaswamy||India||2020–||Vice-Chancellor of National Law School of India University|
|Ronaldo Lemos||Brazil||2020–||Lawyer and academic|
|Julie Owono||Cameroon; France||2020–||Lawyer and executive director of Internet Sans Frontieres|
|Emi Palmor||Israel||2020–||Former director general of Israeli Justice Ministry|
|Alan Rusbridger||United Kingdom||2020–||Journalist|
|András Sajó||Hungary||2020–||Law academic|
|John Samples||United States of America||2020–||Vice president of Cato Institute|
|Nicolas Suzor||Australia||2020–||Associate law professor at Queensland University of Technology|
|Date of Decision||Case Decision||Countries||Topics||Original Decision||Board's Decision|
|January 28, 2021||Case Report 2020-001-FB-UA||Malaysia||Hate Speech, Politics, Violence, Religion||Remove||Unavailability|
|January 28, 2021||Case Decision 2020-002-FB-UA||Myanmar, France, China||Hate Speech, Politics, Religion, Violence||Remove||Overturn|
|January 28, 2021||Case Decision 2020-003-FB-UA||Armenia, Azerbaijan||Hate Speech, Culture, Discrimination, Religion||Remove||Uphold|
|January 28, 2021||Case Decision 2020-004-IG-UA||Brazil||Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity, Health, Safety||Remove||Overturn|
|January 28, 2021||Case Decision 2020-005-FB-UA||United States||Dangerous Individuals and Organizations, Politics||Remove||Overturn|
|January 28, 2021||Case Decision 2020-006-FB-FBR||France||Violence and Incitement, Health, Misinformation, Safety||Remove||Overturn|
"Real Facebook Oversight Board"Edit
In response, a "Real Facebook Oversight Board" that is not sponsored by Facebook was created which claimed to have better oversight over Facebook. Facebook criticized this group and said it was undermining its efforts. Among its 25 members announced on September 25, 2020, are: Shoshana Zuboff, author of "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power"; Maria Ressa, a co-founder of the Filipino independent news site Rappler; Rashad Robinson, president of the civil rights nonprofit Color of Change; Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP; Reed Galen, a co-founder of the conservative anti-Trump super PAC The Lincoln Project; Ruha Benjamin, an associate professor of African American studies at Princeton University; Marietje Schaake, a Dutch politician who is international policy director at Stanford University's Cyber Policy Center; Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the former president of Estonia; Safiya Noble, an associate professor of information studies and African American studies at UCLA; Damian Collins, a member of the British Parliament; tech investor Roger McNamee, a frequent Facebook critic; ex-CIA officer Yael Eisenstat, former head of election integrity operations for political ads at Facebook; Digital Sistas founder Shireen Mitchell; National Director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League Jonathan Greenblatt; children's advocate Jim Steyer; author and historian Timothy D. Snyder; and Carl M. Loeb University Professor at the Harvard Law School Laurence Tribe.
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