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What is Facebook's Oversight Board? Know about the purpose, composition and functions here

Tulika Tandon

Facebook Oversight Board: Why in News

The decision of a trial on banning Donald Trump from Facebook has come. The Oversight Board upheld Facebook's current ban on Trump for his posts on Jan. 6, with some caveats.

As per McConnell, the co-chair of the Facebook Oversight Board, " Trump is subject to the same rules on Facebook as everyone else, and the Oversight Board held that this was, in fact, a violation and thus Facebook was justified in taking them down."

What is Facebook Oversight Board?

  1. This board has been set up as an independent body that would help Facebook figure out the content that can be permitted to be published or removed. 
  2. The company had thus created this Board to review its toughest decisions on what people can post on its platforms.
  3. The board uses its independent judgment to support people's right to free expression and ensure that those rights are being adequately respected.
  4. Facebook would need to implement the rules and the judgement of the Oversight Board, unless any law is violated in doing so.
  5. The board has 40 members (when full) from around the world representing a diverse set of disciplines. Such members would be empowered to select content cases for review. The members are also responsible to uphold or reverse Facebook's content decisions.

Facebook vs Donald Trump:

The Board had decided to uphold the company's decision to remove Donald Trump after the January 6, 2021 insurrection in the U.S. Capitol. It was found that he had broken Facebook's rules about praising violence. 

However, the Board also criticized the indefinite suspension and sent the case back to the company either to ban Trump permanently or set a time frame for his return.

How did the Board come into existence?

November 2018: Mark Zuckerberg conceived the idea of the FB Oversight Board. 

January 2019: The draft charter of Facebook oversight board was released.

April 2019: Public inputs were called in and a Global feedback report was released by June 2019.

September 2019: The charter of Facebook Oversight Board was finalized.

October 2019: The Facebook Oversight Board Trust was created which would support both the board and its administration. 

2020: Facebook Oversight Board members were announced and the board became operational.

Features of the Oversight Board:

The board is based on the following four principles-

Independence: The Board is an independent body that is a separate entity. Both the Board and the administration are funded by an independent trust.

Empowerment: The Board is allowed to permit or remove content from the Instagram or Facebook accounts of people posting content not congruent with the policies. 

Accessibility: There is also a provision of appealing against the content decision of Facebook or Instagram

Transparency: The board can publicly share the written statement about it's decision against some content.

The Board includes members- Endy Bayuni, Nighat Dad, Katherine Chen, Ronaldo Lemos, Jamaal Greene, Suzanne Nossel, Maina Kiai, Nicolas Suzor to name a few.

Also Read| What is Black Fungus ? Know all about Covid triggered Mucormycosis here

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FAQ

When did the Facebook Oversight Board become operational?

Facebook Oversight Board became operational in the year 2020.

Who founded facebook?

The founder of Facebook was Mark Zuckerberg.

How long does Facebook oversight board take?

Any person is given a period of 15 days from the time Facebook sends an update about its final content policy decision to submit an appeal to the board. When the board selects a case to review, it typically makes its decision within 90 days.

Does FB have an oversight Board?

Yes, Facebook has an Oversight Board comprising of almost 40 members when full/ complete

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