As its community grew to more than 2 billion people, it became increasingly clear to the Facebook company that it shouldn’t be making so many decisions about speech and online safety on its own. The Oversight Board was created to help Facebook answer some of the most difficult questions around freedom of expression online: what to take down, what to leave up, and why.
The board uses its independent judgment to support people’s right to free expression and ensure those rights are being adequately respected. The board’s decisions to uphold or reverse Facebook’s content decisions will be binding, meaning Facebook will have to implement them, unless doing so could violate the law.
The board’s independent judgment is critical to its function. Board members are being carefully chosen for the diversity of their expertise and the quality of their judgment. To further ensure the independence of its decision making, both the board and its administration are funded by an independent trust and supported by an independent company that is separate from the Facebook company. The board’s structure, responsibilities, purpose and relationship to Facebook are outlined in the Oversight Board Charter.
The board is a separate entity from the Facebook company and will provide its independent judgment on both individual cases and questions of policy. Both the board and its administration are funded by an independent trust.
The board has the authority to decide whether Facebook and Instagram should allow or remove content. These decisions are binding, unless implementing them could violate the law. The board can also choose to issue recommendations on the company’s content policies.
Individuals will be able to appeal Facebook and Instagram content decisions to the board. Anyone whose content is selected for review by the board will have the opportunity to share a statement explaining their position.
The board is committed to publicly sharing written statements about its decisions and rationale. Each decision will be published and archived on the board’s website. Additionally, the board will release annual reports about its work.