Fired Justice Ministry head appointed to Facebook oversight board

Emi Palmor will be one of the first 20 members appointed to the independent board from around the world.

Eli Palmor (photo credit: PR)
Eli Palmor
(photo credit: PR)
Emi Palmor, the ex-Justice Ministry director-general fired in controversial circumstances in July 2019, has been appointed to Facebook and Instagram's Oversight Board, an independent organization tasked with content moderation on the social media platforms.
The Oversight Board, first announced by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in November 2018, responds to growing criticism regarding a lack of transparency and consistency in Facebook and Instagram decision-making processes.
Palmor will be one of the first 20 members appointed to the independent board from around the world, chosen from a wide range of professional and cultural backgrounds.
The board's operations will by financed by a $130 million trust fund, also independent of Facebook, and members will make binding decisions regarding what content should be permitted or removed, based on respect for freedom of expression and human rights.
"I have been a civil servant for 24 years in Israel, dedicating my life to increasing access to justice and putting the citizen at the center," said Palmor.
"For me, serving on the Oversight Board is an opportunity to do this for people around the world. I have a reputation for not being afraid of difficult issues and am dedicated to holding Facebook accountable by improving how content decisions are made and increasing the fairness and transparency around why they are made."
Acting Justice Minister Amir Ohana surprised the legal establishment last year by firing Palmor with little warning.
As Ohana himself was only a temporary appointment, it was surprising that he would fire a director-general, a position usually left in place as part of the professional staff of a ministry, even if the minister changes.
This was made even more surprising after Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit issued a standard warning that even permanent ministers should not make major personnel or other changes ahead of the September 2019 election.
The Oversight Board will review content referred to it both by users and Facebook. All decisions will be made public on the board's website, while protecting the privacy of those involved, and Facebook will be required to respond publicly to them.
The board will also publish an annual report evaluating its work and the extent to which Facebook is meeting its commitments.
Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this story.