Facebook has been repeatedly slammed in recent years for not doing enough to stop foreign actors from interfering in U.S. elections. Additionally, the company was strongly criticized for allowing misinformation to run rampant in the leadup to both the 2016 and 2020 U.S. presidential elections. That’s why Facebook is now reportedly considering forming an election advisory board with leading academics and experts to help it make content moderation decisions related to global elections.
The proposed election board, which would launch ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, would reportedly make decisions on how to handle election misinformation. Its mission would be similar to Facebook’s independent content moderation Oversight Board, but unlike the Board, the proposed election commission would proactively offer advice to Facebook without waiting for the company to submit cases.
Facebook no doubt hopes that creating a commission like this will help to shield it from criticism during the next consequential election. However, the company likely hoped for the same thing when it created its Oversight Board, and that hasn’t been the case at all. On the contrary, the Board has only further added to the confusion of what is and isn’t allowed on the platform. In general, Facebook probably needs to start addressing the root cause of these issues — its own technology and business structure — instead of creating temporary band-aids like these committees.
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