In recent months, Facebook has been under intense pressure to figure out how and when accounts should be banned from the platform. The issue came to a head when the social media giant suspended former president Donald Trump, then kicked the issue to its independent Oversight Board for a final decision. However, the Board threw the decision back in the lap of Facebook, which finally decided to ban Trump for two years. The whole series of events was confusing, dissatisfying for all parties involved, and not a sustainable way to handle this issue. That’s why at least one expert thinks a new solution is needed: a governing body made up of Facebook’s own users.
“Rather than respond in an ad hoc manner to its ostensibly independent Oversight Board of hand-picked, well-remunerated experts, or try to silence speech-policing reporters in a fruitless attempt to avoid bad PR, Facebook should institute a democratically-elected People’s Parliament,” public interest technologist Ayden Férdeline wrote in an opinion column for Newsweek. “And it should be voted in by—and accountable to—the users of Facebook.”
After all, Férdeline argues, why shouldn’t Facebook’s actual users be the ones who determine the company’s Community Standards? It may seem far-fetched, but supplementing Facebook’s current expert Oversight Board with one comprised of users would certainly be a much fairer and inclusive way to determine who gets booted off the platform.
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