Maria Montero

Facebook wants user feedback before setting up the board …

Social media giants like Facebook are responsible for keeping the community online while giving people the freedom to express their opinion. To ensure that happens, Facebook plans to create an “Oversight Board” that will be empowered to review some of its most challenging and controversial content decisions.

Since January, Facebook has been putting this team together and it’s still not sure if any critical aspects are missing.

Facebook in a blog post therefore, it has announced the launch of a public consultation process that uses a survey to ask how you, as a Facebook user, would run the oversight body.

As described by Facebook’s Director of the Oversight and Governance Board, Brent Harris, the survey asks a wide variety of questions about how you would define the board, including how it elects members, how they make decisions, and how they govern general. All participants are expected to complete a multiple choice questionnaire, but there is also an optional essay section where more specific ideas can be expressed.

Facebook claims that all of this collected data is anonymous by default, although you can volunteer to share excerpts and receive inquiries from Facebook if you have questions.

The consultation phase only lasts six weeks from April 1, so there is not much time available if you have feedback to offer. The blog also states that regular users are not the only ones offered the opportunity to provide feedback. Facebook will receive broad participation from local experts, including academics, NGOs, and civil society from around the world on how this independent body could function.

As Engadget noted in a report, Facebook does not guarantee that this process will have a dramatic effect on the oversight board. But what is pretty evident is that Facebook is determined to have a watchdog that reflects what users want. The tech giant acknowledges mistakes made in the past and wants to make sure those mistakes don’t happen again.

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