Facebook's Oversight Board will consider appeals to remove content

It could lead to fiercer crackdowns on hate speech and misinformation.

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ANKARA, TURKEY - MAY 07: Oversight Board logo is seen on a smart phone with Facebook and Instagram logos at the background in Ankara, Turkey on May 07, 2020. (Photo by Hakan Nural/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Hakan Nural/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook's Oversight Board has so far focused on restoring content after appeals, but now it's taking requests from those who feel the social network was lenient. The board has begun accepting appeals for Facebook and Instagram to remove content when the usual content moderation process leaves the material intact.

The takedown requests will vary slightly from the usual process. The board will pool multiple appeals for the same content into a single case, and will omit details that could "easily identify" the people who made the request unless they grant permission. As usual, the board vows to be "thorough, principled and transparent" in its decisions. All rulings are binding for Facebook.

You can expect the new appeal option to be available sometime in the "coming weeks" if you don't have it already.

The expansion could have a dramatic effect on Facebook's moderation. While some have argued Facebook is too swift to take down some content, others have argued that it's frequently lax — a recent lawsuit accused the social media giant of allowing anti-Muslim hate speech that breaks the company's rules. This could lead to stricter crackdowns on hate and misinformation, if just to remain consistent with Facebook's existing policies.

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