It hasn’t even launched yet, but Facebook’s proposed independent “supreme court” of content moderation is already under pressure from activists who want it to claim more authority over content decisions.
The idea for the oversight board was first revealed in spring 2018 as a way for Facebook to hold itself accountable. However, activists say that the social media giant has dragged its feet while launching the board, and that it won’t be set up in time to monitor content during the 2020 U.S. presidential election. That’s why a nonprofit called Accountable Tech is trying to persuade individual board members that they should demand more authority from Facebook.
“Facebook is overrun by voting misinformation and hate,” Accountable Tech co-founder Jesse Lehrich said. “It’s incumbent on the board to demand they have legitimate authority to tackle these issues or they should quit.”
As part of its campaign, Accountable Tech will spend $25,000 on ads across Facebook and LinkedIn that individually target board members. However, Lehrich was quick to point out that this action wasn’t personal.
“The goal isn’t to make… attacks on board members. We have nothing but respect for several of these board members, but if they are going to be used as PR props, they should not want to be used as cover for Facebook to keep selling disinformation and hate,” he continued.
This is an interesting tactic to force the content moderation board’s hand. Because after all, while they’re supposed to keep Facebook accountable, someone needs to hold them accountable, too.
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