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1 May 2019

Global Partners Digital & 23 other civil society organizations

Civil society groups say draft charter should provide more clarity on role & power of oversight board

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We, the undersigned, welcome the consultation on Facebook’s draft charter for the proposed oversight board...The board should play a meaningful role in developing and modifying policies...To ensure independence, the board should establish its own rules of operation...The draft charter does not, however, set out much detail on the role and powers that this staff will have. The final charter should provide clarity on the role and powers of this staff, including how Facebook will structure the board to maintain the independence of the board and its staff...At present, issues can only be raised to the board via Facebook’s own content decisionmaking processes and “Facebook users who disagree with a decision”...it is important that there also be a way for individuals to be able to influence problematic policy and raise concerns directly to the board... According to the Draft Charter, “the board...will be made up of a diverse set of up to 40 global experts”. While it is important for this board to reflect a diversity of disciplines, it is also integral that it reflects a diversity of global perspectives including different regional, linguistic and cultural perspectives from the various countries in which Facebook operates...it should seek to demonstrate transparency and be held accountable for its content-related practices...should issue a transparency report that provides granular and meaningful data including statistical data on the number of posts and accounts removed and impacted.