Facebook Confirms Independent Oversight Board Start Date 

Facebook confirmed that it’s independent Oversight Board will launch mid-October. 

The move is Facebook’s attempt to regulate social media posts on all its platforms. The new Oversight Board will give consumers the chance to appeal posts that are taken down or labeled as misinformation. 

While the Oversight Board has been in the works since Facebook announced its intentions to develop it in 2018, the timing of its launch comes right before the U.S. presidential election. 

“We are currently testing the newly deployed technical systems that will allow users to appeal and the Board to review cases. Assuming those tests go to plan, we expect to open user appeals in mid to late October,” an Oversight Board spokesperson told CNBC. “Building a process that is thorough, principled, and globally effective takes time, and our members have been working aggressively to launch as soon as possible.” 

Legislators have pressured technology companies like Facebook to step up, especially after reports of Russian interference in U.S. elections through several social media platforms, Facebook most notably. 

Facebook already said that it would regulate political ads and posts claiming victory before an official announcement, and those posts attempting to delegitimize election results. 

However, the Oversight Board’s role remains unclear, as details regarding what information the Board will be able to decide on, and whether Facebook will be inclined to follow board rulings, have not been released. 

“In terms of passing rulings around the time of the election, the Board will be prepared to consider cases on any matters that come before it and are in scope for us, and it’s premature to guess what the Board may or may not consider until we launch,” a spokesperson for the Oversight Board said. “Whether Facebook will send the Board expedited cases around this time is a question for Facebook.”

CNBC reports that the Oversight Board’s members are a “globally diverse group with lawyers, journalists, human rights advocates, and other academics.” 

Consumers can find out about the Board’s appeals process, governance, and members on its website here.  

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