Learning From Mistakes: A Guide to Expanding the Oversight Board

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Catholic University Journal of Law and Technology


More than 4.4 billion people use social media—the vast majority of these users are young and reside outside of the United States. A few platforms attract a significant number of those users—for example, 2.9 billion people use Facebook, 2.3 billion use YouTube, and 1.2 billion use WeChat. It follows that how these major platforms govern themselves with respect to content moderation has an impact on billions of users and may lead to policy changes across other platforms that affect billions more. That is why it is so important to analyze Meta’s Oversight Board—an independent body created for the purpose of “promot[ing] free expression by making principled, independent decisions regarding content on Facebook and Instagram and by issuing recommendations on the relevant Facebook company content policy.” Though decisions made by the Oversight Board with respect to specific posts receive substantial media attention, less attention has been paid to the structure of the Board as well as how the Board plans to expand to increase the number of posts it reviews per year. This article aims to fill that gap.

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Spring 2023