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Facebook’s ‘Supreme Court’ is about to be tested for the first time


Facebook’s Oversight Board will make an important decision soon: whether Donald Trump’s “permanent suspension” from Facebook and Instagram should be lifted.

The decision will be a major test for the Oversight Board, a much-needed effort by Facebook to prove its independence. Mr. Trump’s idea also reflects public opinion, which has so far yielded at least a dozen votes.

But the file for Governing Body, known as the “Facebook Supreme Court,” was set up to deal with more than Trump. The Facebook-funded platform is designed to help social networking sites deal with the most difficult and controversial decisions in the world. It can also be able to attract the main points of Facebook – if the company allows it.

Facebook’s ‘High Court’

The agency itself has been in operation for a year, although the agency has already started . That’s when a Harvard professor and former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said she wanted Facebook to create a “Supreme Court” for its controversial decisions. That concept formed the basis of what we now know as the Oversight Board.

According to Facebook, the Oversight Board should be independent. But the media company donated the first $ 130 million – which should have been six years – to help select board members. During all this time, Mark Zuckerberg was “very busy with the formation of the committee,” New Yorker was stated in the origins and early days of the Board of Oversight.

On the other hand, the Oversight Board has done everything in its power to emphasize its independence. Rachel Wolbers, the team’s public relations officer, even after saying that the council would one day consider experimenting on other platforms. “We hope we will do a better job so that other companies can seek our help,” he told SXSW.


Currently, the board has 19 members from around the world (there were 20, but one remained in February Department of Justice). After that, it will reach up to 40, even his allows the actual number to “increase or decrease in size if appropriate.

First Alan Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of Supervisor; Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Danish prime minister; and John Samples, vice president of libertarian Cato Institute. All members “have the capacity to defend human rights,” board. And all members receive for their part-time job with the agency.

However, unlike the actual Supreme Court, the Oversight Board comes with limitations. Members only have three to three years.

How the Management Board works

Facebook drops thousands of them every day, but only a small fraction of those removed will be Oversight Board’s official cases. For those who do, there are a number of ways the case can go up for board.

When Facebook removes a post for violation of its rules, users have the option to opt out of the request. In some cases, this request causes Facebook to reverse its decision. But when Facebook chooses no To restore content, users have the opportunity l to the Oversight Board as a last resort. Again, the appeal does not guarantee that the agency will take the case. Of the more than 300,000 applications received, only 11 were selected.

This week, Facebook has announced it will increase the types of content the board can monitor by enabling users to create other types of requests. Instead of competing with what Facebook removed, users will now be able to challenge the company’s choice .

Under this approach, users are required to process Facebook reports. If the company decides to waive the list, they will notify the user of the statement, along with a license that will allow them to lodge a complaint with the Oversight Board. The main difference compared to the low request methods is that is able to deal with the same post in cases of “leaving” this.

Facebook now allows users to complain about what has not been removed.


Finally, Facebook policymakers can also promote “big and difficult” decisions directly to the committee without waiting for any request to be made. Trump’s suspension was one of many. But the company a false case involving COVID-19 in the agency, which ultimately undermined the idea of ​​removing the French government’s responsibility for its services to COVID-19.

As soon as the council makes a decision, Facebook should follow through. The company has done everything to ensure that no one, , can deal with the Board of Oversight. At the same time, Facebook is bound to follow the committee’s decisions in its cases, though the company says it will make every effort to implement the decision “in the same way.”

However, the agency is able to use the methods contained in social networking sites – perhaps on purpose. In addition to any decision to resign / resign, the board reviews company policies and makes recommendations. Facebook is required to respond to this advice but, importantly, it is not necessary to follow its advice.

That is why while the council is able to exert a lot of power on certain issues, such as the upcoming Trump election, Facebook is the final word on its policy. This has led from peer support groups and other organizations that say the organization that oversees “oversight” should also contribute to other key issues, such as advertising campaigns and Facebook ideas.

What has happened so far

The Court has ruled in seven cases, and Facebook’s first choice of five of these. (There has been that the council would like to reimburse Trump’s account, but so far has not provided an indication of how it can govern.)

With that said, the committee has listed some of the content on Facebook as “vague” or “obscure for users.” And his first impression on Facebook encouraged the company to connect more effectively with users. Similarly, the council has expressed skepticism about Facebook’s use of self-determination in making the right choice, and said users should be aware of whether the post will be deleted due to self-identifying tools.

Facebook responses to Oversight Board comments.


What the agency will break in most of the laws, is unclear. Facebook has recently released for the original principles administered by the Oversight Board, and his commitment was not good. In several areas, the company has made some changes. For example, it agreed to share Instagram’s obscene content, and decided to clarify its position on the false vaccine.

In some areas, Facebook responses were simple. The company made a number of promises to increase its “transparency” but provided little. In response to some suggestions, the company simply stated that it was “monitoring the potential” of the changes.

In the run-up to Trump’s election, the commission will reconsider its position on Facebook . Also, there is no reason for social networking to change.

What we do know, however, is that the commission is already treating Trump’s election differently from other lawsuits. With the last 90 days just a few days to go, the committee has announced that it has , says more than 9,000 comments received. The ruling is expected in the coming weeks.


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