Instagram, Facebook's 'Oversight Board' Now Reviewing Deletions

Instagram, Facebook's 'Oversight Board' Now Reviewing Deletions

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Five months after Facebook announced it had established an international entity named the "Oversight Board" to make decisions about free speech and content moderation on its platforms — which include Instagram — the board has finally started accepting cases submitted by users for review.

“Today we’re announcing an important milestone in the progress of the Oversight Board,” the non-governmental, pseudo-judicial entity declared yesterday through a statement. “From today, if your content is removed from Facebook or Instagram and you have exhausted the company’s appeal process, you can challenge this decision by appealing to the Oversight Board.”

“Similarly, Facebook can now refer cases for a decision about whether content should remain up or come down. In the coming months you will also be able to appeal to the Board about content you want Facebook to remove,” the Oversight Board announced.

The announcement comes with a flowchart explaining how this self-regulating group of people — hired by Facebook and unveiled in May during the height of the COVID crisis without much fanfare — will be reviewing cases, including content and account deletions by the third-party moderators that Facebook/Instagram use.

Unfair Deletion of Sex Workers' Content

Adult performers and companies have been routinely targeted by Facebook/Instagram’s Term of Services (which bundle nudity and consensual sex with hate crimes and violent crimes), by its discretionary enforcement (celebrities and major brands are allowed nudity, as numerous examples attest), by search shadowbanning (which the companies deny they practice) and by a secretive internal culture regarding censorship decisions.

This Oversight Board — named simply that, not "Facebook's Oversight Board" — is funded by Facebook, who appointed its four co-chairs. Those co-chairs then appointed 20 members, with 20 more members to be appointed later.

Facebook spent $130 million setting up the Oversight Board trust, but claims the board is completely independent. Facebook also committed itself to abiding by the board's decisions.

The creation of this Oversight Board was announced on May 6 by VP of Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg.

To visit the Oversight Board's website and to submit cases, click here.

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