The Oversight Board of Facebook

18 september 2019

On September 17, 2019, Facebook announced that it has been establishing an Independent Oversight Board, describing its structure and its relationship to Facebook in the form of a charter.  

This central governing document defines the board’s mandate and describes its relationship to Facebook. It establishes its membership, governance and decision-making authority, and it sets out parameters for things like the size, scope and power of the board, which will have the purpose to protect free expression by making principled, independent decisions about important pieces of content and by issuing policy advisory opinions on Facebook’s content policies.
The board will operate transparently and its reasoning will be explained clearly to the public, while respecting the privacy and confidentiality of the people who use Facebook, Inc.’s services, including Instagram (collectively referred to as “Facebook”). It will provide an accessible opportunity for people to request its review and be heard. 

Referring to the Governance structure the Chart clarified that board is independent from Facebook. It is establishing an independent trust. The Oversight Board, the trust and Facebook will have separate roles and responsibilities, all of which will work to ensure that the board is set up for success.The trust will provide the infrastructure to support and compensate the Board.

Relating to the membership, The board will be composed by a diverse and qualified group of 40  members, who will serve three-year terms. Facebook will select a small group of initial members, who will help with the selection of additional members. Thereafter, the board itself will take the lead in selecting all future members, The trust will formally appoint members.

Regarding the board, the charter confirms that panels will be expected, in general, to defer to past decisions. This reflects the feedback received during the public consultation period. The board can also request that its decision be applied to other instances or reproductions of the same content on Facebook. In such cases, Facebook will do so, to the extent technically and operationally feasible.

Facebook will promptly implement the board’s content decisions, which are binding. In addition, the board may issue policy recommendations to Facebook, as part of its overall judgment on each individual case. 

 Retrieved from https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2019/09/oversight-board-structure/

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