Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Facebook’s New ‘Supreme Court’ Could Revolutionize Online Speech

Lawfare Blog: Facebook’s New ‘Supreme Court’ Could Revolutionize Online Speech – “The Supreme Court of Facebook is about to become a reality. When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg first mentioned the idea of an independent oversight body to determine the boundaries of acceptable speech on the platform—”almost like a Supreme Court,” he said—in an April 2018 interview with Vox, it sounded like an offhand musing. But on Nov. 15, responding to a New York Times article documenting how Facebook’s executives have dealt with the company’s scandal-ridden last few years, Zuckerberg published a blog post [A Blueprint for Content Governance and Enforcement] announcing that Facebook will “create a new way for people to appeal content decisions to an independent body, whose decisions would be transparent and binding.” Supreme Court of Facebook-like bodies will be piloted early next year in regions around the world, and the “court” proper is to be established by the end of 2019, he wrote. It is difficult to overstate the potential this has to transform understandings of online speech governance, international communication and even the very definition of “free speech.” Zuckerberg’s blog post literally asks more questions about the anticipated tribunal than it answers. (He writes, “Starting today, we’re beginning a consultation period to address the hardest questions, such as: how are members of the body selected? How do we ensure their independence from Facebook, but also their commitment to the principles they must uphold? How do people petition this body? How does the body pick which cases to hear from potentially millions of requests?”) But it’s worth unpacking the underlying ideas behind the proposal and the most difficult challenges that will need to be resolved in how it’s set up.”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.