Facebook appoints former Article 19 Executive Director Thomas Hughes to lead administrative staff of new Oversight Board
Facebook has picked British human rights expert Thomas Hughes to lead administrative staff of its new oversight board. The independent board - first announced last September - will have the power to override Facebook decisions on contentious material. It will review videos, photos, and other content that Facebook removes... "The job aligns with what I've been doing over the last couple of decades which is promoting the rights of users and freedom of expression," [Hughes] said... Facebook, which will fund the board and its staff for at least six years, has also proposed a set of rules for the board to follow. The "by-laws" will need to be approved by the board before they are set in stone.
... "He [Hughes] will face enormous challenges making Facebook's oversight board credible," said Jim Killock, executive director of Open Rights Group... "Facebook needs to grant the board powers to scrutinise the whole procedures within their content moderation process, not just adjudicate certain troubling decisions... The Facebook oversight board is an important and long-overdue initiative, but it's also going to be very easy for it to be constrained and less effective than is necessary. Facebook, after all, mediates the speech of billions. Holding its decisions to account is a massive task."