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    Facebook critics have formed their very own oversight board

    The thumbs up Like logo is shown on an indicator at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Tuesday, April 14, 2020. Facebook has deleted a post by President Donald Trump for the very first time, saying it violated its policy against spreading misinformation concerning the coronavirus. The post involved featured a web link to a Fox News video where Trump says children are “virtually immune” to the herpes virus. Wednesday facebook said, Aug. 5, 2020 that the “video includes false claims a group is immune from COVID-19 that is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation.” (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Several prominent Facebook critics have formed a rival oversight board which will scrutinize the company’s content moderation practices along with other policies. The combined group is named the true Facebook Oversight Board.

    UK-based advocacy group The Citizens announced the committee 1 day after Facebook’s formal Oversight Board said it could start assessing moderation disputes the following month. That body will need to 90 days to create decisions on cases up, and it’s unlikely to get a bearing on what Facebook handles November’s presidential election.

    “That is a crisis response,” Guardian journalist and founder of The Citizens Carole Cadwalladr told NBC News. “We realize there are likely to be a group of incidents before the election and beyond where Facebook is essential. It is a real-time response from an authoritative band of experts to counter the spin Facebook is putting out.”

    The Real Facebook Oversight Board comprises 25 roughly experts from the fields of academia, civil rights, journalism and politics. Among them will be the company’s former head of election integrity operations for political ads Yael Eisenstat and early investor Roger McNamee. Other members include UK Person in Parliament Damian Collins, NAACP president Derrick Marietje and Johnson Schaake, a politician and the international policy director at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center.

    The group will discuss Facebook platform issues in weekly public Zoom meetings and broadcast those on Facebook Live. Topics shall include political ads, militias organizing themselves through Facebook events and the spread of QAnon conspiracy theories. October 1st the initial meeting is defined to occur on, with a concentrate on election issues such as for example voter misinformation and suppression.

    Facebook announced plans to create its Oversight Board in 2018 and revealed the initial batch of members in-may. Some experts have suggested the board’s mandate is much too limited, as a big section of its work shall focus on content moderation appeals.

    Facebook will follow that panel’s decisions however the company can disregard the Real Facebook Oversight Board’s suggestions entirely. It voiced concerns over that combined group to the investment firm Omidyar Network, which includes provided funding to The Citizens. Facebook spokesman Jeffrey Gelman told NBC News the business tried to convince investors that “we have been ultimately working toward exactly the same goal.”

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