EXCLUSIVE: Facebook to appoint members to its oversight board by the end of 2019

Scott Gamm

Facebook (FB) plans to appoint members to its content oversight board later this year.

That’s according to Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, who spoke to Yahoo Finance’s Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer from Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters as part of a wide-ranging interview with her and two other executives who oversee content at Facebook: VP of Global Operations John DeVine and Vice President of Integrity, Guy Rosen.

“We will be releasing a charter that will explain, basically, how the board is going to work,” she said. “We are still in the process of figuring out some of the specifics and exactly who will be on it, but this is something that we are hoping to have people in place for the board by the end of this year.”

The oversight board will make decisions on whether to allow certain types of content on Facebook’s platform, as it grapples with how to combat controversial user content on its platform.

“We are creating a council, an oversight board, to which people can appeal,” Bickert added. “If they go through a Facebook appeal and they don't like our decision, they can appeal and ask this board to take a look and make a decision about whether or not that piece of content should be on Facebook. And that decision will be binding.”

Facebook has held events in various cities across the world throughout 2019 “with hundreds of folks that are experts in freedom of expression and internet and governance and digital rights,” said Guy Rosen, Facebook’s VP of Integrity.

The company is also taking steps to ensure the board remains independent in its decision making, especially as it relates to how board members are compensated.

“We need to create some sort of independent entity that we pre-fund, because we do need to make sure the board has the facility to operate and to compensate people for their time,” Rosen added. “But we don't want to be involved in any of those decisions on an ongoing basis, because we need to make sure that they can be truly independent and they can overrule us.”

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