Facebook has received tons of criticism for its content moderation decisions, and its perceived lack of responsiveness to users who want to figure out why their posts have been removed. That’s why the social media giant announced last week that it’s making a major move to clean its hands of the issue. According to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the company wants to pass off content appeals to an entirely independent third-party group.
“In the next year, we’re planning to create a new way for people to appeal content decisions to an independent body, whose decisions would be transparent and binding,” Zuckerberg wrote. “The purpose of this body would be to uphold the principle of giving people a voice while also recognizing the reality of keeping people safe.”
This as-of-now hypothetical group would be tasked with making a final ruling on whether or not information that is false, inflammatory or offensive belongs on the platform. Doubtlessly, this is also a way for Facebook to win back public trust after its many data- and privacy-related scandals over the past year. But it also gives Facebook a reasonable way to deflect blame the next time that its content policies backfire.