Critics of Facebook launch rival oversight board

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Critics of Facebook Inc, including the organisers of an advertising boycott against the business, on Friday established their own oversight board to review the company’s content moderation practices.

The launch comes a day after Facebook’s officially-mandated Oversight Board said it would begin function in mid-late October, nearly a year behind schedule.

The new group, which bills itself as the “Real Facebook Oversight Board”, counts one of its first members that the minds of three U.S. civil rights groups, the former president of Estonia and the former head of election integrity at Facebook.

The delay of the launch of the official Facebook-funded board means it is unlikely to review cases related to the coming US election on the 3rd of November, that has generated some of the most contentious issues faced by the planet’s biggest social network.

The rival board plans to move faster, ” it said in a statement. It will hold its first general assembly next week, and concentrate squarely on election issues, including voter suppression, election security and misinformation, it said.

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Facebook “responds to criticism with bad faith statements and cosmetic changes,” said board member Roger McNamee, an early investor in Facebook who turned critical of its leaders over their handling of abuse of the platform at the 2016 election.

“The Real Oversight Board will act as a watchdog, helping policymakers and consumers defend against a renegade platform”.

Members of the competing board intend to broadcast their encounters in weekly shows on Facebook Live, according to the announcement.

A Facebook company spokesman hit back in a statement on Friday.

“We ran a year-long global consultation to set up the Oversight Board as a long-lasting institution that will provide binding, independent oversight over some of our hardest content decisions,” he explained.

“This new effort is mostly long-time critics creating a new channel for existing criticisms.”

The new group said that it was being funded by Luminate, a philanthropy backed by The Omidyar Group, but didn’t disclose a financing amount.

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Facebook has given $130 million into its Oversight Board job, which it said would cover operational costs for six decades.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Katie Paul. Additional reporting by Elizabeth Culliford. Editing by Tom Brown and Sonya Hepinstall.

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