Fb's oversight board is open however is unlikely to play a task earlier than the US elections

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: This image illustration shows silhouettes of mobile users alongside a screen projection of the Facebook logo

By Elizabeth Culliford

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc. The (O 🙂 independent oversight body, which can override corporate decisions on whether to remove content and recommend policy changes, began accepting cases for review on Thursday.

The board, created in response to criticism of Facebook's handling of problematic content, is open to cases from users who have exhausted the company's appeals process and from Facebook itself.

However, Facebook said the board is unlikely to handle cases related to the US election. Harris, Facebook's director of governance and global affairs, told reporters in a call Thursday that the company would not file a case for an expedited review before the November 3rd vote.

Global users can file complaints through the board's website within 15 days after Facebook contacted them about the final decision on the content. The board, whose first 20 members were announced in May, said it could take a few weeks for all users to have this option.

The oversight body, which can only review a small portion of the content, said it would provide details of its first cases and open a public comment process in the coming weeks. There is a maximum of 90 days for the board to make case decisions and Facebook to respond.

A board spokesman told Reuters last month that the coronavirus pandemic had contributed to delays in the introduction of the board, which Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg announced publicly in 2018 and which should start work last year.

Criticized for the limited types of content it can make decisions on, the board is said to be able to hear cases from users about content left or removed on Facebook and Instagram as of early 2021. The administrative director of the board of directors, Thomas Hughes, said.

"I can tell you it was our first question … to be able to do both," Emi Palmor, member of the board of directors and former director general of the Israeli Ministry of Justice, told Reuters on Thursday. "We were promised that it would be pretty quick."

Facebook, which can point cases to whether content should stay active or not displayed, as well as a wider range of topics like ads or Facebook groups, can also ask for policy recommendations.

In September, Facebook critics, including the organizers of a social media advertising boycott, set up a competition group to review the company's content moderation, which they dubbed the "Real Facebook Oversight Board". Palmor said the two groups had no contact.

Palmor said the board, which is expected to grow to around 40 people, will also begin work "immediately" to select its next members.

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