When Facebook first announced it was creating an independent “supreme court” to rule on controversial content moderation decisions, it was seen as an encouraging step forward for the company. However, at least one member of the independent organization is already feeling frustrated by the task of working with the social media giant.
So far, the Facebook Oversight Board has tackled several substantial issues — most notably whether or not former President Donald Trump should be permanently banned from the platform. According to a member of the Board, they have wrestled with the seriousness of that issue, along with the limitations of making such black-and-white decisions.
“What happens if — without commenting on any high profile current cases — you didn’t want to ban somebody for life but you wanted to have a ‘sin bin’ so that if they misbehaved you could chuck them back off again?” said Alan Rusbridger, a former newspaper editor and a member of the Oversight Board. “I think the Board will want to expand in its scope. I think we’re already a bit frustrated by just saying take it down or leave it up.”
Rusbridger went on to say that he hopes the Board will eventually get a peek behind the curtain at Facebook’s algorithm to figure out how it works. Hopefully he’s right — because the more power this independent group has to rein in Facebook, the better.
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