Facebook’s Oversight Board announces its first 20 members

Facebook’s Oversight Board announces its first 20 members

The new Oversight Board assembled by Facebook has officially disclosed the identities of its first 20 members.

The overall aim of the Oversight Board is to create a committee that will settle moderation disagreements within the world’s biggest social media platform. As such, the members who make up the board are quite diverse in terms of background, experience, and expertise.

In alphabetical order, here is the full list of members:

  • Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei (Ghana, Senegal)
  • Evelyn Aswad (USA)
  • Endy Bayuni (Indonesia)
  • Catalina Botero-Marino (Colombia), Co-Chairperson
  • Katherine Chen (Taiwan)
  • Nighat Dad (Pakistan)
  • Jamal Greene (USA), Co-Chairperson
  • Pamela Karlan (USA)
  • Tawakkol Karman (Yemen)
  • Maina Kiai (Kenya)
  • Sudhir Krishnaswamy (India)
  • Ronaldo Lemos (Brazil)
  • Michael McConnell (USA), Co-Chairperson
  • Julie Owono (Cameroon, France)
  • Emi Palmor (Israel)
  • Alan Rusbridger (UK)
  • Andras Sajo (Hungary)
  • John Samples (USA)
  • Nicolas Suzor (Australia)
  • Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Denmark), Co-Chairperson

Different backgrounds, different achievements

Facebook makes no secret of the purpose of creating its Oversight Board.

As Nick Clegg, the tech giant’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications has noted through Facebook’s website, the individuals who comprise the group will be given the opportunity to provide their own independent perspective on what content will be allowed or banned from Facebook, as well as some of its other social media brands.

And the way Facebook sees it, it might help to assemble a team consisting of various backgrounds and achievements.

Indeed, the members include a former prime minister of Denmark (Thorning-Schmidt), a witness testifying to impeach President Donald Trump (Karlan), an ex-federal judge who has handled more than a dozen cases before the Supreme Court (McConnell), a Nobel Peace Prize awardee (Karman), and a Pulitzer Prize-winning editor who published the Snowden leaks (Rusbridger).

It goes without saying that none of these names are currently working for Facebook. Furthermore, according to the social media giant, it can’t remove any of them from the board. Lastly, any decision made by the Oversight Board will be made public.

Facebook Oversight Board members

Looking ahead

Of course, the first 20 members are just the beginning. In the coming months, the Oversight Board is looking to expand the roster by adding about 20 more members.

As always, Facebook will attempt to be consistent with what it has begun, in terms of naming new members who will be as diverse and as learned as the first batch.

The Oversight Board will start hearing cases in the next few weeks or months.

As for Facebook users, they will actually be allowed to send their appeals to the board, in the event that any of their posts will be taken down from their Facebook accounts.

Furthermore, netizens will soon also be able to send appeals to Facebook to remove specific contents that are posted by other users.

Image 1 and Image 2 courtesy of Facebook

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