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Facebook Oversight Board Makes First Decisions, But System Remains Flawed

Today, the Facebook Oversight Board published its first decisions on five of six cases, for which civil society feedback was solicited and Access Now submitted comments. The Board overturned Facebook’s content removal in four out of the five cases reviewed.

Of the cases reviewed, the only case for which the Board determined Facebook was correct in removing content is the case regarding hate speech in the context of the Armenia and Azerbaijan conflict.

“Access Now welcomes the Facebook Oversight Board’s acknowledgement of a lack of meaningful transparency in Facebook’s content moderation practices,” said Eliska Pirkova, Europe Policy Analyst at Access Now. “However, while this may be a promising start, we reinstate our concerns about the consultation process, outlined in our comments. Furthermore, the Board has not considered our underlying concern: Facebook’s data harvesting business model fuels the spread of potentially harmful content.”

Facebook has seven days to repost the content the Oversight Board determined must be reinstated. In addition, Facebook has 30 days to publicly share what steps they have taken to abide by advisory guidance.

Access Now will review the Board's decisions in detail and continue to closely monitor its future operations. Access Now has been following the development of the Board since it was launched last year, and published a report on what the entity means for human rights.

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