Facebook's court-like Oversight Board for appealing content decisions will now begin receiving cases, officials said Thursday, marking the launch of what CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised two years ago would be an independent accountability mechanism for the world's largest social media platform.
Under the rollout, users of Facebook (FB) and Instagram will be able to challenge Facebook's decisions to remove content that they have posted once they have exhausted the company's internal review process. The ability to escalate cases to the board will be rolled out to users gradually.
"We recognize there are many who want the board to start hearing cases as soon as possible," said Thomas Hughes, director of the Oversight Board. "We have all shared that ambition ... our first principle has always been to ensure we take the correct steps to get this right."
The announcement comes days before a US election in which tech companies' handling of misinformation, hate speech and other content has been deeply scrutinized. While the Oversight Board may receive cases related to election content, it will be up to board members to decide whether to act on them — not Facebook.