Experts: Facebook Oversight Board Not Enough To Fix Company’s Content Problems

Facebook has proudly trumpeted the creation of its independent oversight board and the role it will play in helping the company make difficult content moderation decisions. However, critics say that the board needs to have even greater control over Facebook operations — including its algorithms.

According to these critics, most of Facebook’s moderation problems stem from a fundamental flaw in the way that its algorithm shares content with users. However, as it stands right now, the oversight board can only make decisions on a limited case-by-case basis, while making recommendations about broader changes. And that may not be enough power to make a meaningful difference on the platform.

“The jurisdiction that Facebook has currently given it is way too narrow,” Evelyn Douek, an expert studying social media content moderation policies, told Recode. “If it’s going to have any meaningful impact at all and actually do any good, [the oversight board] needs to have a much broader remit and be able to look at the design of the platform and a bunch of those systems behind what leads to the individual pieces of content in question.”

It seems highly unlikely that Facebook would give any third party the ability to control its core design. Which means this oversight board will probably stay as it is — making a small difference instead of a big one.

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