Facebook to name first oversight panel members by end of year

Facebook to name first oversight panel members by end of year

Facebook has said it expects to name the first members of a new quasi-independent oversight board by the end of the year.

The oversight panel is intended to rule on thorny content issues, such as when Facebook or Instagram posts constitute hate speech.

It will be empowered to make binding rulings on whether posts or ads violate the company’s standards. Any other findings it makes will be considered “guidance” by Facebook.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to establish the board last November after Facebook came under intense scrutiny for failures to protect user privacy and for its inability to quickly and effectively remove disinformation, hate speech and malign influence campaigns on its platform.

“Facebook should not make so many important decisions about free expression and safety on our own,” he wrote at the time.

Critics call the oversight board a bid by Facebook to forestall regulation or even an eventual breakup. The company faces anti-trust investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, Congress and a group of state attorneys general.

“Facebook is attempting to normalise an approach to containing hate speech internally,” said Dipayan Ghosh, a former Facebook policy adviser and a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School. “If it can illustrate that this approach can work, it can pacify the public itch to regulate the business model behind Facebook.”

The multinational board will eventually comprise 40 members, who will collectively decide a few dozen cases a year, company executives told reporters in a conference call.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Niall Carson/PA)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Niall Carson/PA)

It will at first hear only cases initiated by Facebook but will begin hearing appeals initiated by users in the first half of 2020, the company said. It will get to work as soon as 11 members are named.

Priority cases will involve content that “threatens someone else’s voice, safety, privacy, dignity or equality” and affects a large number of people, Facebook said in blog post.

- Press Association

More on this topic

Facebook officially launches digital currency Libra despite defectionsFacebook officially launches digital currency Libra despite defections

US presidential candidate targets Facebook policy with ‘false’ Zuckerberg adUS presidential candidate targets Facebook policy with ‘false’ Zuckerberg ad

Visa and Mastercard pull out of Facebook currency projectVisa and Mastercard pull out of Facebook currency project

Facebook paid £28.5m in UK tax despite £1.65bn revenueFacebook paid £28.5m in UK tax despite £1.65bn revenue

More in this Section

Google to officially unveil new Pixel 4 smartphoneGoogle to officially unveil new Pixel 4 smartphone

Uber to start online grocery deliveries following latest acquisitionUber to start online grocery deliveries following latest acquisition

Google develops more detailed Maps voice navigation for visually impairedGoogle develops more detailed Maps voice navigation for visually impaired

Human-like faces at self-service checkouts may reduce shoplifting risk – studyHuman-like faces at self-service checkouts may reduce shoplifting risk – study


Lifestyle

My sister Gabriella always says that during sibling whispers all I ever wanted was to be on stage.This Much I Know: Man of many talents Mike Hanrahan

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman whose husband is controlling and belittling her.Ask a counsellor: ‘My husband is so controlling – what do I do?’

Peter Dowdall branches out to take a look at the mountain ash or rowan.Rowan berries show us how nature is stocking its larder for winter

More From The Irish Examiner