Facebook outlines global feedback for content oversight board

Facebook.

San Francisco, Grappling with government regulations over privacy violations, Facebook on Thursday published a new report summarizing what the social networking platform learned from personal discussions with more than 250 people and over 1,200 public consultation submissions to form a content oversight board.

The company spoke with roughly 900 people and reviewing more than 1,200 public comments about the idea, and hosted six in-depth workshops and 22 roundtables attended by more than 650 people from 88 different countries.

The idea was first mooted by CEO mark Zuckerberg in November last year for people to appeal content decisions through an independent body.

Earlier this year, Facebook released a draft charter outlining a series of questions that it wanted to answer through a global input process, including public consultation, to form that body.

“In each of these engagements, the questions outlined in the draft charter led to thoughtful discussions with global perspectives, pushing us to consider multiple angles for how this board could function and be designed,” said Brent Harris, Director of Governance and Global Affairs at Facebook.

Facebook has released a report with appendices that summarize all of the feedback and recommendations it heard through those conversations, workshops and roundtables, internal research, white papers, media reports and public proposals.

“First and foremost, people want a board that exercises independent judgment — not judgment influenced by Facebook management, governments or third parties,” said the company.

The board will need a strong foundation for its decision-making, a set of higher-order principles — informed by free expression and international human rights law — that it can refer to when prioritizing values like safety and voice, privacy and equality.

“In making its decisions, the board may need to consult experts with specific cultural knowledge, technical expertise and an understanding of content moderation,” said Facebook.

“People want a board that’s as diverse as the many people on Facebook and Instagram. They would like board members ready and willing to roll up their sleeves and consider how to guide Facebook to better, more transparent decisions,” the company added.

Facebook would release a final charter in August.

“We’re continuing to consider who will serve on the 40-person board. This process will include sourcing, vetting, interviewing, selecting and providing training for members. Facebook will select the first few people and those members will then help select the remaining people,” said the company.