Facebook announces 20 members of independent oversight board

Facebook has announced the 20 members of its new Oversight Board. Board members have lived in 27 countries, speak 29 languages, even though a quarter of the group are from the USA. Among selected members are former US federal judge Michael McConnell, former Danish prime minister Hellen Thorning-Schmidt, former European Court of Human Rights judge András Sajó, Internet Sans Frontières executive director Julie Owono, Yemeni activist and Nobel prize laureate Tawakkol Karman, and former editor-in-chief of the Guardian Alan Rusbridger. The oversight board, also dubbed Facebook’s Supreme Court, will be able to overturn decisions by the CEO Mark Zuckerberg on whether particular contents shall be allowed on Facebook and Instagram. The board will provide binding decisions on controversial cases where users have exhausted internal appeal processes. The board’s decisions must be made and implemented in 90 days. The members will be independent and will pressure the platform to improve its policies and respect users’ right to freedom of expression. The board will begin hearing cases this summer.