Facebook outlines ideas about outside oversight board

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US social media giant Facebook on Thursday unveiled detailed outlines for an “outside board” composed of independent experts weighing in on the process of content review on its platform.

Brent Harris, Director of Governance and Global Affairs at Facebook, said company staff have travelled extensively since early this year around the world to seek feedback from more than 650 people in 88 different countries and regions, as well as other sources on how to manage users’ appeal of content decisions, the Xinhua news agency reported.

“We had personal discussions with more than 250 people and received over 1,200 public consultation submissions” on the content review process, he said.

According to a report that summarised all the feedback and recommendations, Facebook will build an independent board whose judgment will not be affected by governments, any third parties or even Facebook itself.

While reviewing content on the Facebook platform, the board will need to solicit suggestions from “experts with specific cultural knowledge, technical expertise and an understanding of content moderation.”

The board members will be as diverse as possible with different backgrounds, disciplines and viewpoints, but they should represent the general interests of Facebook users, Harris said.

He noted that the board will consist of 40 members and the body’s charter is expected to be ready in August.

Facebook has been under strong criticism for its failure to effectively manage speech of hate or violence that occasionally popped up on its platform, although the company has claimed that it has adopted enhanced measures to keep its community safe and secure.

The world’s largest social media network has employed more than 30,000 content viewers, in addition to the use of artificial intelligence technology such as machine learning, to monitor online posts and content of a community formed by about 2.4 billion people around the world.


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