Facebook’s Independent Oversight Board announced on Tuesday that it would begin accepting requests to remove “harmful content” that it believes are wrongly allowed users to remain on leading social networks.
The move has the potential to expand the work of Facebook’s so-called “Supreme Court”, which has so far been tasked with reviewing instances of content being improperly taken down from Facebook or Instagram.
Starting today, users can appeal content to the Oversight Board which they want to remove from Facebook and Instagram. The board will use its independent judgment to make binding decisions as to what to leave and what to take. https://t.co/7yygkm0mRb
– Overseas Board (@OversightBoard) April 13, 2021
The Oversight Board, set up by Facebook to deal with controversial questions of content moderation, began operations last year and issued its first rule in January. The decisions, which may eliminate Facebook management, are binding.
Thomas Hughes, the body’s director of administration, said “enabling users to view content removed from Facebook, which is an important extension of the Oversight Board’s capabilities.”
“The board was created to ensure that less decisions are made about issues of highly important content by Facebook alone, and that better decisions can be made through an independent and transparent process that addresses human rights and expression. Works to protect freedom. Today’s announcement is another step. Towards realizing it. “
The announcement calls for pressure from Facebook and other social platforms to act on misinformation and abusive content, ranging from election-related fraud to COVID-19 treatment.
Users who feel that harmful posts, photos, videos, comments and shares live online may appeal to the panel to remove them.
As part of the new process, the panel will establish procedures including privacy protection for users receiving takedown requests.
“We expect everyone on Facebook and Instagram to be able to appeal the content left over in the coming weeks,” said Guy Rosen, head of integrity at Facebook.
“We are pleased that the Overseas Board is expanding its scope and influence, and awaits its future decisions and recommendations.”
Editor – Board?
The change means “a much larger expansion of the oversight board’s rethinking,” said Emily Bell, director of the Columbia University Tow Center for Digital Journalism, and could move Facebook closer to turning into a media company.
“This is what a news-driven media company does, and this is what Facebook is. (Facebook CEO Mark) Zuckerberg can’t do it himself, nor can his board of directors and senior executives,” Bell Said on twitter.
“So the oversight board actually becomes a default editorial board.”
Joe Lukito, a professor at the University of Texas Center for Media Engagement, said it’s unclear whether Facebook will be overwhelmed by an influx of Takedo requests.
“Facebook’s oversight board lacks infrastructure, which would be a major flood of cases,” Lukito said.
“Given Facebook’s lack of transparency and consistency in dealing with various misinformation cases, it is unclear whether this expansion of the oversight board’s scope will actually ensure that misinformation is systematically removed from social media platforms . “
An activist group that calls itself “The Real Facebook Oversight Board” said the new effort is underfunded.
“In order to empower their board to do their job, Facebook is losing its toughest decisions,” the group said in a statement.
Members of Facebook’s Oversight Board come from various countries and include jurists, human rights activists, journalists, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a former Danish Prime Minister.
The panel is reviewing thousands of cases, including Facebook’s decision to ban former US President Donald Trump.
In a decision released on Tuesday, the panel upheld Facebook’s decision to remove a video posted by someone in the Netherlands, which showed a young child with his face painted black with adults, Known as “Zwart Piatt” or Black Pete, who was depicted in a folkloric personality. Territory as a companion of St. Nicholas.
The board said, “The Oversight Board upheld Facebook’s decision after finding sufficient evidence of loss to remove the majority.”
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