Statement on Facebook Oversight Board’s Press Offensive

For Immediate Release
September 24, 2020


Accountable Tech Executive Director Nicole Gill released the following statement Thursday in response to a new press offensive from the still-inoperative Facebook Oversight Board:

“Nearly three years after Mark Zuckerberg set into motion plans for a so-called ‘Supreme Court’ – and after months of sustained pressure for the Oversight Board to grapple with urgent Facebook debacles around the globe – board members have embarked on a press tour about their impending launch.

While it’s a small victory at this point to see any movement at all from the Oversight Board, let’s put this in the proper context. Their launch date – and 90 day review period for cases – will be too late to address Facebook’s deficiencies ahead of the election, from accepting false political ads to facilitating voter suppression. They were silent and sidelined as Trump vowed ‘looters’ would be shot in Minneapolis; as vigilantes fanned the flames in Kenosha; as politicians in India called for ethnic violence; as Boogaloo Bois organized, QAnon was mainstreamed, and coronavirus lies went viral.

Moreover, as we documented in June, the Oversight Board can only hear appeals about posts Facebook has already removed until further notice; they have no say over the platform’s toxic algorithms; their rulings won’t set binding precedent; their policy recommendations can be rejected. The list goes on.

If Oversight Board members want to enact meaningful change, rather than continuing to prop up Facebook’s Potemkin court, they should demand real authority or resign and speak out.”


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