Facebook releases update on independent board responsible for content moderation

Facebook will be using this consultation and public feedback to create a final charter to be released in August that will govern the work of this independent board.

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July 7, 2019 04:30
2 minute read.
Facebook releases update on independent board responsible for content moderation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is seen on stage during a town hall at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California September 27, 2015.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Back in November Facebook proposed an independent oversight committee slated to help with removing what they deem inappropriate content from the social media conglomerate's website in an attempt to push back government regulations and political oversight over the company. This week Facebook released an update on the committee's creation progress.

In November an interim charter was released for Facebook's proposed implementation of the independent body. In January, the draft charter was released to the public for global input into the suggested processes Facebook would be incorporating into removing sensitive content.

"Since that time we have traveled around the world hosting six in-depth workshops and 22 roundtables attended by more than 650 people from 88 different countries. We had personal discussions with more than 250 people and received over 1,200 public consultation submissions," said Director and Governance and Global Affairs for Facebook Brent Harris said in a Facebook Newsroom post. "In each of these engagements, the questions outlined in the draft charter led to thoughtful discussions with global perspectives, pushing us to consider multiple angles for how this board could function and be designed."

On Thursday, Facebook released the report - the highlights on the feedback include the request from the public for the independent body to be here-on-out highly involved in content moderation processes and procedures, using their own judgement to remove content as supposed to Facebook management, governments or third parties. Second, experts on cultural knowledge, technical expertise and content moderation are to convene with Facebook moderators to determine how the content should be interpreted. Third, the public would like more transparent decisions to be made within the public eye and those from all different types of backgrounds should convene on Facebook's independent board.

"We’re continuing to consider who will serve on the 40-person board. This process will include sourcing, vetting, interviewing, selecting and providing training for members. In sourcing potential candidates, we have been soliciting suggestions from those who have participated in the public consultation process and the in-person workshops and roundtables," Harris explained. "In addition we have been engaging consultants and executive search firms, and will soon be opening a nomination process. We want to make sure that we’re casting a wide net, not just looking to those experts who may already be known to us. Facebook will select the first few people and those members will then help select the remaining people."

Facebook will be using this consultation and public feedback to create a final charter to be released in August that will govern the future work of the independent board.


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