Facebook’s long-delayed content removal Oversight Board is now accepting appeals


(Reuters) — Facebook’s Oversight Board, which can overrule the company’s decisions on whether content should have been removed, said on Thursday it was now accepting cases for review.

The long-delayed Oversight Board, created by Facebook in response to criticism of its handling of problematic content, is open for cases both from users who have exhausted the company’s appeals process and from Facebook itself, less than two weeks before the U.S. presidential election in November.

However, Facebook’s director of governance and global affairs Brent Harris said on a call with reporters the company would not submit a case for expedited review before the election.

The board, which has been criticized for its narrow remit, also aims to hear cases about content that has been left up as well as taken down on Facebook and Instagram starting in early 2021, the board’s director of administration Thomas Hughes said.

Users globally will begin to be able to submit cases through the board’s website from Thursday, though the board said it may take some weeks for all users to have this option. Facebook, which can refer cases on whether content should remain up or come down and on a wider range of issues like ads or Facebook groups, can also ask for policy recommendations.

The board, which will only be able to review a small slice of cases, said it would share details on the first cases it is considering in the coming weeks and would also open a public comment process.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford; Editing by Chris Reese)


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