Facebook names 20 people to oversight independent board

Facebook named 20 members for its independent oversight board. The board’s members have lived in 27 countries, speak 29 languages, even though a quarter of the group are from the United States. Among the 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 called Facebook’s Supreme Court, will be able to overturn decisions by the Chief Executive 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 appeals 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’ human rights freedom of expression. The board will begin hearing cases this summer.

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