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Facebook Oversight Board Selects First Cases for Review

Maina Kiai. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Facebook’s oversight Board has already received its first batch of cases for their review. All the cases involve posts that had originally been recommended for removal by the social media network.

Since the Oversight board started operations in October, about 20,000 incidents have been forwarded to them for review.

Among the first cases chosen for arbitration: A post about breast cancer, showing female breasts, and an image of a dead child on a post questioning the retaliation against China for its treatment of Uighur Muslims.

Read: Facebook Appoints Maina Kiai as a Member in Oversight Board

The oversight board is now inviting public participation on the cases. Facebook users are expected to give their comments, which have been anonymized, within the next seven days.

“Facebook has to follow our decision. And that means if they have taken content down, they have to put it back up. But they also have to use this as a guideline for other similar cases,” said Helle Thorning-Schmidt, former Prime Minister of Denmark and an Oversight Board member

The oversight board has started receiving cases from Facebook and Instagram users from across the globe. These are predominantly cases where users were not satisfied with the platform’s decision regarding posts.

Read also: Oversight Board To Start Accepting Appeal Cases From Facebook And Instagram Users

Posts which are reported or found to breach Facebook’s content moderation guidelines are normally taken down without consultation. However, users on the platforms can now submit their appeals on content removals to the Oversight board.

Facebook will also be able to consult with the board on whether content should remain up or be taken down. The board’s decision will be independent and final for both users and the social media platforms.

Users will also be able to petition the board on content they want removed from Facebook and Instagram

Read also: Former UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai Faults Agency For Banning Its Staff From #BlackLivesMatter Protests

The oversight board is a global body consisting of members from around the world. The members have backgrounds in free expression, digital rights, online safety and other related fields. Their job entails making decisions on what content should be allowed or removed from the platforms.

The Oversight Board consists of 20 members, including Kenya Human Rights Advocate, Maina Kiai. Collectively, they have lived in more than 27 countries and speak more than 29 languages among them.

The board is currently reviewing six cases and is working with a timeline of 90 days to reach a decision and allow Facebook to take action.
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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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