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Facebook Oversight Board has the power to remove content

The Oversight Board of Facebook, today, announced that it is expanding its views on content restrictions on Facebook and Instagram. While the Board has so far taken requests in respect of Facebook posts removed from its platforms, users will also be able to lodge a complaint about posts by Facebook rating groups not removing it after users have complained about it.

The Oversight Board was announced early last year and came into effect from October 2020. It is currently considering Facebook’s decision to ban former US President Donald Trump from its quarters, a decision that is expected to be made soon. Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg had said the Board should have been the “Supreme Court” of Facebook and Instagram, and the company had promised to comply with the Board’s decision on test topics.

“Enabling users to complain about content they want to see removed from Facebook is a huge increase in Oversight Board skills,” said Thomas Hughes, Director of Oversight Board Administration. “The Board is designed to ensure that a few decisions on the most important issues can be taken by Facebook alone, and that better decisions can be made through an independent and transparent process that protects human rights and freedom of expression. Today’s announcement is another step towards achieving this.”

With today’s announcement, Facebook and Instagram users will be allowed to reach out to the Board with content reduction requests once they have completed all other procedures offered by Facebook. “Starting today with the ongoing release in the coming weeks, after someone has completed the Facebook grievance process, they will receive an Oversight Board Reference ID and can formally apply for an independent review,” the Board said.

Content to review includes posts, status updates, photos, videos, comments and sharing. If the same content is reported by multiple users, the Board will place them all within the “single file” to get more context for the content in question.

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