FB plans independent poll panel to review political content decisions

(IANS) To help reduce the public perception that Facebook can be biased towards certain political content on its platform, the social network is considering to form an independent election commission that would keep a tab on its decisions.

According to a report in The New York Times, the Facebook’s election commission will be like the independent Oversight Board which is a panel of about 20 former political leaders, human rights activists, and journalists picked by Facebook to review content moderation appeals.

According to the report that came out on Wednesday, Facebook has spoken to academics and policy experts about the elections commission, expected to be announced ahead of the 2022 US midterm elections.

“Facebook has approached academics and policy experts about forming a commission to advise it on global election-related matters, said five people with knowledge of the discussions, a move that would allow the social network to shift some of its political decision-making to an advisory body,” the report mentioned.

However, it is still unclear if the Facebook’s election commission would operate with the same level of independence as the Oversight Board does.

Facebook declined to comment on the report.

According to the report, the proposed commission could decide on matters such as the “viability of political ads and what to do about election-related misinformation”.

Conservatives have criticised Facebook after it banned former US President Donald Trump from its family of apps earlier this year.

Facebook suspended Trump from its platforms for two years, the maximum penalty under a newly revealed set of rules for suspending public figures, a move that was hailed by the independent Oversight Board which had upheld the earlier decision by the social network to ban Trump.

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