Dec 12, 2019

Facebook spends $130 million to fund content oversight board

Illustration: Aida Amer/Axios

Facebook said on Thursday that the company has made an initial commitment of $130 million to fund a trust for its global content oversight board. The board was proposed in 2018 as an independent authority to help users appeal Facebook's content moderation decisions.

Yes, but: The company disclosed that it was behind on announcing its board members, of which it could appoint up to 40. Facebook was planning to announce them by year's end, but said, "we've decided to take additional time to consider the many candidates who continue to be put forward."

Details: In a blog post, Facebook estimated that the money should allow the board to operate for at least two full terms, or six years in total. It says the money will go toward office space, staff and travel expenses.

  • Facebook explained that it expects the board's staff to include "a director, case managers and dedicated staff members (or contracted services) who can support things such as the board’s communications, legal, human resources and research needs."
  • It also said the trust will have at least three individual trustees and a corporate trustee. The tech giant added it's currently conducting a search for the individual trustees, which will be announced next year.
  • The board will be required to submit an annual budget to the trust for approval and to receive funds.

The bottom line: Facebook is funding a trust that will have funding discretion over the board to ensure the board remains independent.

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Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note that the content oversight board was proposed in 2018 (not established).

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Facebook struggles to clean up its messes

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

To speed new products to market, Facebook famously used to tell its employees to "move fast and break things." The job of cleaning up some of the resulting debris is one the company is tackling a lot more slowly.

Why it matters: Facebook is under pressure to offer users more control and provide the public with better accountability. The company has responded with a mix of apologies, policy changes and remedial steps.

Go deeperArrowDec 20, 2019

Exclusive: Facebook adding part-time fact-checking contractors

Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Facebook is creating a new pilot program in the U.S. that will leverage part-time contracted "community reviewers" to expedite its fact-checking process.

The big picture: The community reviewers will help to corroborate or debunk stories that Facebook's machine learning tools flag as potential misinformation. This will make it easier for Facebook's fact-checking partners to quickly debunk false claims.

Go deeperArrowDec 17, 2019

Facebook won't stop letting politicians lie in ads

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anyone who was waiting for Facebook to change its controversial political ad policies — particularly the one that allows politicians to lie with impunity — will have to keep waiting, the company made clear Thursday.

Driving the news: Facebook released a raft of small changes to its rules around political ads, including giving consumers the option to block political ads from their feeds.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020