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[Discussion] Facebook & Instagram Users Can Now Appeal Content Directly to the Oversight Board

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The new and independent organization that will be overseeing Facebook’s Oversight Board is ready to start considering cases of moderated content to oversee.  If you are not following this new board, it will be tasked with providing independent oversight regarding Facebook’s moderation of content.  The board was announced in 2018 after multiple recent controversial moderation decisions from Facebook and even being pulled before the US Congress for their moderation decisions. 

Details are still limited and most of the process is in development, but we do have some notes about the service:

  • First, you will need to “exhaust the platform’s internal appeal process” for moderated content before you can even send it to the new board.
  • Second, decisions can take up to 90 days to change or support the original moderation option.
  • Third, (and you may have done the math here already) there is extraordinarily small chance the new board will handle content related the 2020 election as that is less than two weeks away.  Also, the board has made mention that they will not even be selecting their first case for the first few weeks of submissions meaning the first decision is likely months away.

The board is made up of 20 activists, journalists, lawyers, and even a former prime minister, and has been labeled by some as “Facebook’s Supreme Court.” The service will be available to both Facebook and Instagram users, but the board has made it clear that only a fraction of the cases submitted will be seen by them.  Facebook has also stated that some “prominent” cases may be sent directly to the new board instead of their internal moderation.

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