Facebook names first 20 members of its new oversight board

Facebook on Wednesday followed through with its promise to establish an oversight board by naming the first 20 members of the group that will the power to regulate what content can be removed from the social networker’s platform.

The board will be responsible for hearing appeals on posts that have been removed from Facebook and Instagram and issuing decisions about whether material in question can remain on those sites, as well as answering questions from Facebook about posted items.

A content management system will be used to help the board determine which cases it will hear.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg originally announced plans to for an oversight board in November 2018 after the company was taken to task for how it handled matters such as the use of people’s data for ad placement purposes in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“With our size comes a great deal of responsibility and while we have always taken advice from experts on how to best keep our platforms safe, until now, we have made the final decisions about what should be allowed on our platforms and what should be removed,” said Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communications, in a statement announcing the oversight board members. “And these decisions often are not easy to make.”

The oversight board includes members from multiple countries, many of whom have legal or political backgrounds.

Among the oversight board members are Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a former Prime Minister of Denmark, Emi Palmor, a former director general of the Israeli Ministry of Justice, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman, and Michael McConnell, a Stanford University law professor and one-time federal circuit judge.

The board, which will eventually consist of 40 members, is expected to hear it first cases within a few months.

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Author: Rex Crum

Mercury News Business