Just a day after Facebook’s own official Oversight Board announced it would finally start work – in mid-late October – a new group headed by a trio of senior U.S. civil rights figures calling itself the “Real Facebook Oversight Board,” has been revealed.
Aimed at externally overseeing and passing judgement on Facebook content methods, the group will reportedly be led by a combination of civil rights leaders, a one time president of the Baltic state of Estonia, and a former Facebook insider once charged with leading the company’s election integrity office.
The unexplained year long delay in the official Facebook board starting operations, however, means the upcoming November Presidential election in the U.S. will be too close, and thus will not be a focal point of the board’s early days of existence.
A general meeting of the ‘external’ board overseeing Facebook content practices will take place in the next few days it is understood, and will be focusing on topics relating to the November 3rd election in the U.S. including items such as possible voter suppression, and election security measures.
Speaking publicly, Roger McNamee, an early Facebook backer and board member of the unofficial overseers said the company “responds to criticism with bad faith statements and cosmetic changes.”
Continuing “(T)he Real Oversight Board will act as a watchdog, helping policymakers and consumers defend against a renegade platform” McNamee’s group will also broadcast their own meetings weekly – somewhat ironically – using Facebook Live.
Facebook, the company, meanwhile responded by saying “We ran a year-long global consultation to set up the Oversight Board as a long-lasting institution that will provide binding, independent oversight over some of our hardest content decisions,” he said. “This new effort is mostly longtime critics creating a new channel for existing criticisms.”
(This article is first appeared in published in The Taiwan Times and is republished with permission)