Facebook to Start Moderating Content Through Widely Criticized Oversight Board

Facebook has repeatedly blocked attempts from digital rights organizations and other concerned parties to try and make it so that the company’s policies would end up being scrutinized by an independent committee formed of people that do not have a stake in the company and would be genuinely interested in making it so that they can ascertain which aspect of the company needs to be changed and which can remain the same once all has been said and is now out of the way.

Instead of allowing third parties to have any oversight, Facebook has created its own supposedly external oversight board which is nevertheless contains four hand picked members from Facebook along with other journalists and activists. The truly shocking thing about this board is that when it makes the decision this decision will be sent back to Facebook at which point the social media giant would be able to act on it or ignore out based on its own interests.

This board is about to start moderating content and the like, and users that have already gone through the appeals process are going to get identification that they can present to the board if anything further happens. Facebook’s goal here is to make it so that it can decide which content gets to stay up on its platform in the interests of preserving free speech and freedom of expression. With militia groups and terrorist organizations releasing propaganda content on the platform that could prove to be very dangerous on a regular basis, Facebook’s decision could not have come any sooner.

With all of that having been said and out of the way, it is important to note that many people are still criticizing this board and the decisions that it would end up making, saying that this is more of a publicity stunt on Facebook’s part rather than anything that’s truly meaningful and active regulation would prove to be more useful in this regard. Others are saying that this is at the very least a step in the right direction and it might be the only one we are going to get in the near future.

Photo: Jeff Chiu/AP

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