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By Jeff Horwitz
Facebook Inc. will give an independent board the ability to review and potentially overturn content-moderation decisions, the social-network operator said Tuesday, giving authority to outsiders to oversee some of the thorniest issues the company has faced in recent years.
The new board, which will be funded through an outside trust, will consist of 40 paid, part-time members who will "seek to consider cases that have the greatest potential to guide future decisions and policies, " the board's charter states.
Acting functionally as an appellate court, board members will adjudicate controversies arising from Facebook's in-house efforts to enforce its standards on hate speech, misinformation and other prohibited content. After hearing cases in five-person panels, the full board will make binding decisions on specific pieces of content as well as issue broader policy recommendations that the company must publicly address.
Initial board members will be announced within the next few months, with review panels aiming to begin issuing decisions on content by early next year, Facebook said.
"As an independent organization, we hope it gives people confidence that their views will be heard, and that Facebook doesn't have the ultimate power over their expression," Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said of the initiative, which he proposed last year. "I'm looking forward to seeing how the board evolves."
The question of content moderation has bedeviled Twitter Inc. and Google's YouTube as well, with social-media platforms taking heat both for their failure to staff moderation efforts adequately and for sometimes overreaching on particular decisions.
Write to Jeff Horwitz at Jeff.Horwitz @wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 17, 2019 16:56 ET (20:56 GMT)
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