Facebook’s Oversight Board and the challenges of making policy we can trust

Image: Alex Haney

“You can imagine some sort of structure, almost like a Supreme Court, that is made up of independent folks who don’t work for Facebook, who ultimately make the final judgment call on what should be acceptable speech in a community that reflects the social norms and values of people all around the world.”

Facebook’s legitimacy problem

“in order for people to trust the internet overall and over time, there needs to be the right regulation put in place” — Mark Zuckerberg

Image: Battered Women’s Support Services.

Dealing with predictable disagreements on hard cases

Bill Leak’s 2016 cartoon depicts an Indigenous man, holding a beer, who could not remember his own son’s name. You can view the cartoon and read more about the controversy here.

If the Oversight Board is a type of Supreme Court, it needs a Bill of Rights.

Understanding local cultural contexts

Many Rohingya fled to the Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Bangladesh, near the border with Myanmar. Image by John Owens for Voice of America.

Facebook has worked hard to make improvements in relation to Myanmar, but the problem of understanding local contexts for a platform of two billion people will continue to be an important challenge in the future.

Making real changes to policy

Building a new constitution



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Nicolas Suzor

Nicolas Suzor

I study the governance of the internet. Law Professor @QUTLaw and @QUTDMRC; Member of @OversightBoard. All views are my own. Author: Lawless (July 2019).