The Facebook Supervisory Board will handle user complaints
Not Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, but a special council now holds the power when it comes to messages that are removed from Facebook. If users do not agree with the deletion of their messages, they can challenge this. The final opinion of the special council is binding, even if Zuckerberg does not agree.
The plans were already there.Zuckerberg announced the appeal body last year. But now it is also clear what the council should look like, how much power and what role it has within the company.
Paid by Facebook
From the first half of next year, the council must look at the first cases as a kind of court, Facebook announced.
Facebook wants to guarantee the independence of the board, because members may not have conflicting interests. They may not work or have worked at Facebook and, for example, have no family member who works at the company. But the members do get paid for their part-time work. That salary is paid by a trust in which Facebook deposits money.
More power than Zuckerberg
The special council serves Facebook users. As a kind of supervisor, it must pass judgment if users do not agree that their messages, videos or photos are taken offline.
“The decision of the council is binding, even if I or someone at Facebook doesn’t agree ”, Zuckerberg writes in a blog post
The council can reverse a decision if they believe that Facebook has incorrectly deleted a message. But Facebook does expect the council to base the decision on the values that apply to the social network.
What kind of business
In the majority of cases, Facebook moderators and artificial intelligence determine whether a message, photo or video violates the rules that apply on Facebook.
The 2.1 billion Facebook users are unlikely to see that the Council is handling the challenge of deleting a holiday photo.
Especially major issues
After all, the council mainly deals with major issues, Facebook doesn’t know what to do with. Bringing a matter to the attention of the council is only possible after all other options have been considered.
The council ultimately decides for itself whether it accepts a case or not. Facebook does not report how long it takes to process a request.
The expectation is that dozens of cases will be discussed in the first year. But that number can quickly increase if the number of members of the council salutes.
There must be at least eleven people on the council, but ultimately Facebook wants about forty members. Members are still being sought.
They are appointed for a three-year term, with a maximum of nine years.Their names must be public. And they are expected to make an independent judgment.
If the council has decided on a case, the user who brought the case is informed of the judgment. But Facebook can also present matters to the council itself. The decision of the council is ultimately also explained and made public.
The council can also make a proposal to adjust Facebook’s policy.
Facebook can’t do it alone
Facebook sets the council, because, according to Zuckerberg, the company cannot make decisions on its own that affect freedom of expression.
Earlier this year, he even asked supervisors to play a more active role and set up rules for the internet. He indicated that Facebook actually had too much power with regard to freedom of expression.
At the same time, the platform must ensure that there are not too many hate messages,discrimination and other nasty messages, photos and videos appear online. Something where not only Facebook, but also Google, Twitter and other companies.