Facebook’s newly created oversight board announces the first six cases involving content removed from the social media giant’s platforms.
Facebook Inc’s independent oversight board on Tuesday announced the first six instances where it could overturn the social media company’s decisions to remove certain content from its platforms.
The board, created by Facebook in response to criticism over its handling of problematic content, said it had received 20,000 cases since it opened in October.
Three of the six cases involved content that Facebook had removed for violating hate speech rules.
A spokesperson for the Oversight Council said hate speech cases accounted for “the largest proportion” of calls received.
“Hate speech is a particularly difficult area,” Jamal Greene, one of the council’s co-chairs and a professor at Columbia Law School, said in an interview with Reuters news agency. “It’s not that easy…for an algorithm to get the context” of such talk.
In November, Facebook for the first time released figures on the prevalence of hate speech on the platform, saying that out of 10,000 content views in the third quarter, 10 to 11 included hate speech.
The other cases chosen by the council involved content removed from Facebook or Instagram for violating rules on adult nudity, dangerous individuals and organizations, and violence and incitement. Greene said they raised “significant line art issues”.
One case was submitted by Facebook itself. The company said the case highlights the challenge it faces from the risks of offline harm caused by misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Facebook can also ask the board for non-binding policy recommendations, but Greene said it hasn’t done so yet.
The board has opened a week-long public comment period on the first cases, which will be reviewed by five-member committees. There’s a 90-day deadline to make decisions on which cases to take and for Facebook to act on them.
The council, which has been criticized for its limited mandate, aims to start hearing user cases in early 2021 about content that has been left on the site or removed.
This week, a Facebook critics group dubbed “The Real Facebook Oversight Board” said it would hear three cases that users aren’t yet eligible to go to the official oversight board, including a dispute over Steve’s Facebook account. Bannon, the former chairman of President Donald Trump. to advise.
Asked about the group, a spokeswoman for Facebook’s oversight board said, “A lot of people have opinions on Facebook. The oversight board is focused on making binding decisions and issuing policy recommendations that will hold Facebook to account.