Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook's independent Oversight Board will be led by two U.S. constitutional scholars, a former prime minister of Denmark and a former official with the Organization of American States.

The big picture: The board is a first-of-its-kind internet governance body, which Facebook spent $130 million to fund to provide independent review of its content moderation decisions.

Details: The board also named a slate of 20 members out of a projected full membership of 40 as part of an official launch Wednesday.

  • The membership spans the political spectrum and includes legal experts as well as people with backgrounds as human rights activists, journalists, political leaders and victims' advocates.

The co-chairs are:

  • Helle Thorning-Schmidt, former prime minister of Denmark and CEO of Save the Children.
  • Jamal Greene, a Columbia Law School professor.
  • Michael McConnell, former U.S. federal circuit court judge and now Stanford Law School professor.
  • Catalina Botero Marino, former Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, who now serves as Dean of the Universidad de los Andes Faculty of Law in Colombia.

By the numbers: All 20 current members of the board have experience advocating for human rights.

  • 70% have experience living in more than one country.
  • Only 5 members are based in the U.S. The rest are from all over the globe.
  • 90% of the current board members speak more than one language.
  • 29 languages are spoken amongst the 20 board members combined.

How it works: Users who are unhappy with a content takedown or other moderation decisions by Facebook will be able to file an appeal with the board, which will choose a handful of key cases to decide.

  • Facebook says it will treat individual content judgments by the board as binding, but responsibility for implementing board decisions will rest solely with the company.
  • Board members say they are committed to carefully balancing freedom of expression with other human rights, to operating transparently, and to representing global diversity.

What they're saying: On a press call before the announcement, the co-chairs described their work as novel and experimental and said they expect to make mistakes.

  • "It's one thing to complain about content moderation and the challenges involved in it. It's another to actually try to do something about it," Green said.

One huge challenge will be sifting through an expected firehose of potential controversies to pick the few that the organization will be able to adjudicate.

  • McConnell said the criteria will include cases that affect a large number of users, those that have a major effect on public discourse, and those that have a big impact on policies across Facebook's platform.

History lesson: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg first discussed the idea of a Supreme Court-like independent board in April 2018 as a way to counter criticism that the company was inconsistent and unaccountable in its decisions to take content down or leave it up.

  • In November 2018, Zuckerberg committed to the project publicly, and last year the organization rolled out a charter.
  • Facebook provided initial funding and chose the board's four co-chairs after wide consultation, but the board's leadership says it will now operate fully independently from the company.
  • Facebook says it is committed to implementing all board decisions "unless doing so violates the law."

Go deeper: Facebook's constitutional moment

Go deeper

Aug 11, 2020 - Economy & Business

Exclusive: Facebook cracks down on political content disguised as local news

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Facebook is rolling out a new policy that will prevent U.S. news publishers with "direct, meaningful ties" to political groups from claiming the news exemption within its political ads authorization process, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: Since the 2016 election, reporters and researchers have uncovered over 1,200 instances in which political groups use websites disguised as local news outlets to push their point of view to Americans.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
19 mins ago - Health

Where seniors remain vulnerable to the coronavirus

Expand chart
Data: CDC and Simon Willison; Note: The last reliable figure reported for New Hampshire was 83.9% on April 6, 2021; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

More than 80% of Americans 65 and older have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, per the CDC, but millions across the country remain unvaccinated — particularly in the South.

Why it matters: Seniors who have yet to receive their shot remain highly vulnerable to the virus even as the country overall becomes safer.

Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans say J&J pause was the right call

Data: Axios/Ipsos Poll; Note: 3.3% margin of error; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Most Americans support the pause in distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, and so far there's no evidence that it's leading to broader vaccine hesitancy, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Driving the news: In our weekly national survey, 91% of respondents were aware of the temporary pause recommended by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention. Of those, 88% said the pause was a responsible decision.