Facebook is reportedly planning to form a commission for advice on election-related issues

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Facebook is reportedly planning to form a commission for advice on election-related issues
Facebook could announce the election commission by this fall.Unsplash
  • Facebook has approached academics and policy experts for its proposed election commision.
  • The election commision would advise Facebook on political ads and election-related misinformation.
  • It could be similar to the Oversight Board that helps Facebook’s with its content moderation decisions.
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Facebook is planning to form a commission to advise on issues related to elections, according to a report by The New York Times. This election commission would presumably be similar to the Oversight Board that reviews Facebook’s content moderation decisions. For its election commission, Facebook has approached academics and policy experts, the report added.

This election body would be tasked with handling issues related to elections. These include political ads and election-related misinformation. The report added that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want to be seen as the “sole decision maker on political content”. The said commission is expected to be formed soon and Facebook could make the announcement this fall ahead of the 2022 US midterm elections. But the report added that these talks are still in the preliminary stages and could even fall apart.

How the election body will be different from the Oversight Board



Facebook’s Oversight Board was formed to help the company in decisions related to content moderation. The board, composed of former politicians, academics, and policy experts, gives the final ruling on decisions taken by Facebook and whether to uphold or reverse them. The biggest example of this is Facebook’s decision to uphold the ban on Donald Trump. The Oversight Board did stay the decision but frowned on the indefinite ban. Facebook later decided to keep the ban for two years.

According to the report, the election commission would offer advice on situations where Facebook hasn’t taken a decision yet. But it isn’t confirmed if the election commission will have the final say on decisions taken by Facebook.

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Facebook’s plan of forming a body of experts for advice on election-related issues could help the social media giant from criticism it receives by political parties on biased decisions. Facebook has been criticised for its lack of control over election-related misinformation especially during the run-up to the US presidential election. Facebook has tried to tackle some of these issues by saying it would give users the option to see lesser election ads and also paused political ads seven days prior to the US presidential election.

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