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Facebook Establishes Independent Board Than Can Overrule Zuckerberg

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Facebook says it is establishing an independent board outside the control of the company’s leadership. The board can overrule Facebook policies on content management.

 

The social media giants have pledged $130 million to fund the board and its operations. The board is scheduled to launch later in 2020.

 

Thomas Hughes will lead the independent board as its director of Oversight Administration.

 

Hughes’ previous role, which he left in early January 2020, was as the executive director of Article 19. This is a British human rights group with its focus on freedom of information and expression.

 

As director of Facebook’s independent board, his number one job will be to hire staff and build infrastructure for his team which he says would be independent of Facebook, although funded by Facebook. The end goal is to create an independent body from Facebook that can overrule even Mark Zuckerberg if there’s a need to.

 

facebook independent board
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the board’s decision will be binding even on him.
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“The purpose of this body would be to uphold the principle of giving people a voice while also recognizing the reality of keeping people safe,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in November 2018.

 

Facebook independent board’s decision to be binding even on Mark Zuckerberg

The working structure of this board is still largely unknown, however, according to Facebook; Both Facebook itself and its users can tender issues for resolution to the independent oversight board.

 

Most Facebook users will be able to appeal to the independent board  “after the direct appeals process with Facebook” concludes. Meaning users will still have to first appeal to Facebook and exhaust the company’s process before approaching them.

 

Verified Facebook users politicians, celebrities, and members of the media will have a portal to skip past Facebook appeals on the board’s website.

 

Most notably, decisions of oversight board outrightly overrule Facebook itself, and can even overrule Zuckerberg’s decisions.

 

“The board’s decision will be binding, even if I or anyone at Facebook disagrees with it,” said Zuckerberg in a letter published in September 2019.

 

Facebook says it is a completely different entity, unlike its numerous subsidiaries.

 

This move to keep itself accountable is quite impressive and likely improve its credibility.

 

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