Facebook's new Oversight Board to commence operations ahead of Elections

Coming November 3rd, Facebook’s Oversight board has confirmed to launch ahead of US elections due to the criticism over lack of action even after perceiving.

This Oversight Board is being called as the “supreme court” for Facebook where users of Facebook and Instagram will be heard for their appeals of their content being taken down unreasonably by the Facebook moderators.

The board will have the authority to rule out decisions of Facebook executives and moderators, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The Financial Times had a report regarding the launch of Oversight board stating it is expected to begin from October 15 or later.

A representative from the Oversight Board had stated that they’re currently testing the technical systems they have created for users to be able to appeal for the Board to review their cases. They are expecting to begin from mid to late October if their plan goes right.

They also added that the process might take time considering it is to be globally used and thorough enough with proper principles exercised.

Their general course of action would be that when they decide on a case, Facebook is given a total of 90 days to act on their decision.

According to one the Board’s spokesperson, around elections, any cases of any nature will be considered. Yet it is still not sure to say before the launch what the Board may consider or not. What’s also not sure is if Facebook will send any cases to the Board ahead of time or not.

It is a really sensitive time for social media when the recent elections are expected to be highly polarized and it is expected that some platforms can be used to incite violence on social media.

The system of cases being received is through the Content management system linked to Facebook, which will send the appeals to the Board.

The case will be held under a group discussion and then the decision of the content to be removed or kept will be collectively taken.

Facebook could also benefit from the Oversight board in a way that the biased accusations of problematic content being taken down can be ruled out as well.

Conservative speakers and some lawmakers have also claimed that Facebook censors a politically conservative viewpoint, to which Facebook denied the claim to be true.

The board was pledged to be funded with an amount of $130 million by Facebook last December. This was for the board to cover its operating costs over the next six years. Their time will be compensated but the amounts to be funded are still not known.

However, Facebook has still not given full access to the board for having authority over Facebook’s content moderation. The bylaws for the board are limited for their access to which content they can decide over, leaving Facebook to remain a social media giant.

Photo: Elijah Nouvelage / reuters

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