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Fakebook's 'Ministry of Truth' Goes Live: Social Media Giant Names 20 People to Its 'Supreme Court' for Content Moderation

Posted By: RumorMail
Date: Saturday, 9-May-2020 11:43:31
www.rumormill.news/146231

Sad, sad, day for a sadder corporation.. Fakebook inc..

**************************************

Facebook names 20 people to its 'Supreme Court' for content moderation

The list includes nine liberal law professors, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate from Yemen and journalists but no disinformation experts.

May 6, 2020, 1:00 PM EDT
By David Ingram

Facebook on Wednesday appointed 20 people from around the world to serve on what will effectively be the social media network’s “Supreme Court” for speech, issuing rulings on what kind of posts will be allowed and what should be taken down.

The list includes nine law professors, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate from Yemen, journalists, free speech advocates and a writer from the libertarian Cato Institute.

Absent, however, was any prominent expert in studying disinformation. Facebook has struggled to contain state-based manipulation efforts as well as hoaxes on subjects like false cures and gun violence.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a former prime minister of Denmark and one of four co-chairs of the board, said they would consider such expertise in recruiting more members.

“We have tried to consider all communities and also people who have been critical of Facebook in the past,” she said. The number of members will rise to 40 over time, she said.

The oversight board is more than two years in the making, its creation prompted by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who said in 2018 that he wanted to create “some sort of structure, almost like a Supreme Court,” for users to get a final judgment call on what is acceptable speech and relieve the company's executives of having to decide.

Social media networks dating back to MySpace have struggled to write rulebooks that are easy to understand and consistently enforceable and yet cover the varied material that people try to post online.

The rules, including Facebook’s “community standards,” have evolved to prohibit not only illegal images such as child pornography but also hate speech, harassment and, most recently, false information about the coronavirus pandemic.

The questions often become political footballs, as lawmakers in Washington and elsewhere have turned their fire on Zuckerberg when they believe they or their supporters are being unfairly censored.

The creation of Facebook’s oversight board is designed to effectively hand the last word over to the expert panel, possibly taking Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives out of the picture on writing speech rules — and sparing them having to answer questions from users, lawmakers and journalists.

But one of the co-chairs, former federal judge Michael McConnell, said he expected the board to have a steep learning curve.

“We are not the internet police,” McConnell said. “Don’t think of us as sort of a fast-action group that’s going to swoop in and deal with rapidly moving problems. That’s not our job.” The job, he added, was to hear appeals of decisions that Facebook has already made.

The board’s decisions will be binding “unless implementation could violate the law,” Facebook said. The decisions will also apply to Facebook-owned Instagram but not initially to WhatsApp, where content is generally encrypted. Membership on the board is part-time. The board isn’t disclosing its compensation.

Facebook has taken steps to try to make the board independent, creating a $130 million trust to pay for its operation and pledging that it cannot remove members from the board. Facebook will refer cases to the board for its consideration when the company considers them “significant and difficult,” and Facebook users will be able to suggest cases through an online portal.


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