Facebook Commits $130 Million to a Content Oversight Board to Ensure that it Stays Accountable

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Facebook has pledged $130 million to run the operations of its proposed content oversight board for the next six years.

Facebook
Facebook has pledged $130M to its content oversight board

Last year, Facebook announced that they were working on creating a content oversight board, as a solution to complaints that it has too much control over what users can and cannot post.

According to the company, the committed funds are expected to cover the board’s operating expenses like office spaces and travel expenses. It also disclosed that the funds will be placed in a trust, to make sure it is properly managed and to uphold the independence of the members from the company.

Facebook originally set the selection of the board members to the end of the year but in a recent blog post, the company has said the selection won’t happen until 2020.

Speaking on the delayed selection of the board, Brent Harris, Facebook’s head of governance and global affairs, said it was due to the task of reducing more than 1,000 nominees to no more than about 40.

“This is not a ‘move fast and break things’ project. The recommended members had come through Facebook’s global consultation process in 88 countries, as well as the company’s public online portal, which opened in September. The nominated board members range from former heads of state to Nobel Prize winners to people who moderate groups on Facebook to local judges.”

Brent Harris, Facebook’s head of governance and global affairs
The content oversight board will have the final say on if sensitive content should be displayed

Facebook, in the past, has been faced with intense scrutiny over problematic contents that inspire harassment, hate speech, the spread of false information and cyberbullying. Although they have tried to manage it using their reduce, inform and remove strategy, it hasn’t been enough as there is still a lot of public backlash. The content oversight board is Facebook’s new solution.

The content board won’t write content policies for Facebook, but it will be asked to interpret them and review instances when those decisions by the company’s content moderators are questioned. They will also be able to make final decisions on whether content like sensitive video or ads should be displayed on the site.

The exact date of the board’s launch is unclear but once it’s up and running many of Facebook’s controversial and problematic content issues like cyberbullying and propagation of fake news which are major public concerns could be addressed as both Facebook and its users can submit cases to the board.


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