Facebook has made an initial commitment of $130m to cover the operational costs of a new and independent oversight board, which will decide whether individual pieces of content should be posted on the social platform.
The board will have its own staff, independent of Facebook, with at least three individual trustees and a corporate trustee, and its powers include the ability to overrule even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Brent Harris, Facebook’s director of governance and global affairs, outlined the remit of the oversight board in a blog post and explained that feedback from experts from around the world would drive its development, a set of recommended bylaws as well as member selection.
“As stated in the charter, the bylaws will help the board create and codify its operating procedures,” he wrote. “They will also clearly outline the partnership between the board, the trust, Facebook and, most importantly, the community of people who use our platforms.”
However, on the issue of member selection, Harris revealed that Facebook would not make any announcements this year as planned. Instead, the company wants more time to consider the many candidates being proposed and probably won’t name the board’s co-chairs and first members until after January 2020.
“This is not a ‘move fast and break things’ project,” he told Reuters, adding that the recommended members had come through Facebook’s global consultation process in 88 countries as well as its public online portal, which opened in September.
He said candidates ranged from “former heads of state to Nobel Prize winners to people who moderate groups on Facebook to local judges”, but that more than 1,000 nominees needed to be whittled down to no more than about 40 people.
Meanwhile, in a separate development, it was reported last week that the Federal Trade Commission is considering whether to seek a court order to block Facebook from integrated its apps, including WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal said any potential FTC action would likely be taken because of anti-competitive concerns about Facebook’s plans.
Sourced from Facebook, Reuters, Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff