Facebook considering formation of election advisory group: report

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Facebook is considering forming an advisory board with academics and policy experts to advise the company on content moderation decisions related to global elections, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The advisory commission would make decisions around how to handle election misinformation, a topic Facebook has faced fierce scrutiny over, five people with knowledge of discussions told the Times.

If the board is set up, the social media giant is expected to announce it this fall, ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, the Times reported.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment when reached by The Hill.

The election advisory commission would follow Facebook’s launch of its Oversight Board, which assembled a group of journalists, academics and policy experts globally to review disputed Facebook content moderation decisions and make binding rulings for the company on whether to restore posts and accounts. The board also has the ability to make nonbinding recommendations to Facebook on how to amend its policy for future similar cases.

The proposed election commission would differ from the Oversight Board because it would proactively provide guidance to Facebook on content decisions without waiting for Facebook’s move and reviewing it after, the Times reported.

An election commission may be able to quell some of Facebook’s critics that argue the platform has not taken enough of a stance against election related misinformation globally, but its Oversight Board has failed to do so.

Facebook’s critics have said the Oversight Board is not an efficient way for the company to handle content moderation issues.

The board’s most high-profile ruling on whether to restore former President Trump’s account, for example, pleased virtually no side of the debate.

The board essentially pushed the decision back onto Facebook, and the company in response said it would keep Trump’s account suspended until at least Jan. 7, 2023, but left open the possibility of restoring it after that time.

Tags Donald Trump election misinformation Facebook misinformation
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