Facebook itself will also be submitting a 'limited' number of cases to the Board and has said that its word will be final in all content removal takedowns
Facebook’s Oversight Board, which was dubbed as the Supreme Court for the social network by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, is now active. The company had announced the formation of the board in May this year but said it will become active later in the year due to pandemic-related hurdles. Many had said the Board wouldn’t become functional before the November Presidential elections in the United States.
Users can now submit appeals against content removal on Facebook and Instagram to the board directly through its website. Facebook itself will also be submitting a “limited" number of cases to the Board and has said that its word will be final in all content removal takedowns.
The Oversight Board consists of activists, Nobel laureates, professors and other experts from around the world. The four co-chairs of the board are former Denmark prime minister Helle Thorning- Schmidt, former US federal circuit judge Michael McConnell, Columbia Law School professor Jamal Greene and Catalina Botero-Marino, former special rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States. Sudhir Krishnaswamy, vice chancellor of the National Law School of India University, is also a member of the Board.
The social networking giant has set up a $130 million trust for the Board’s operations and its members contract directly with the Board, so as to avoid interference by Facebook.
It’s worth noting that the Board will not be involved in decisions regarding government takedown requests. The company had said earlier that it would continue to adhere by a country’s laws for such requests.
While many hailed the Oversight Board as a welcome move by Facebook to make its moderation policies more transparent, the company has also faced pushback. Notably, critics of the company had setup a rival Board to review Facebook’s policies a day after Facebook announced this one, calling it the “Real Oversight Board".