In an attempt to beef up safety and freedom of Facebook and Instagram audience, Facebook will be launching content oversight board to enabled people across the continent to capture and tell their own stories, with a speed and style that never existed before.
According to Ime Archibong, Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships, in putting the body together, Facebook will be getting wide input from local experts, including academics, NGOs and civil society from across the world, on how this independent body could work. He explained that, as part of Facebook’s information gathering and consultation process, it will be hosting a workshop in Nairobi over the coming few weeks, with participants from across the continent.
“We are incredibly excited about deeply engaging with this group on the hard questions related to content on our platforms. We recognise that this is a complex process that will strengthen how we exercise our responsibility to users. To be clear, we are not asking a group of experts to make decisions for us. We are, however, asking for their insights to help inform our thinking and hold us accountable. We’ll still be making hard decisions every day, and we accept the full weight of that responsibility,” Archibong said.
He explained that, as currently envisioned, the board will consist of about 40 global experts with experience in content, privacy, free expression, human rights, journalism and safety.
“Where we need to, we will supplement member expertise through consultation with geographic and cultural experts to help ensure decisions are fully informed. The board will exercise independent judgement when reviewing our most difficult and disputed content decisions and hold us publicly accountable if we don’t get them right. This should in time bring more perspective, accountability and transparency to our content decisions. The board will have the power to overrule or uphold Facebook’s content decisions and will be able to recommend changes or additions to policies,” he added.