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Meta's Oversight Board is planning to make 'targeted cuts'

Beatrice Nolan   

Meta's Oversight Board is planning to make 'targeted cuts'
  • Meta's "supreme court," its Oversight Board, is planning to lay some people off.
  • The body last week told some employees their jobs were at risk, The Washington Post first reported.

Meta's Oversight Board is preparing to make some job cuts in a move first reported by The Washington Post reported.

Last week, the body dubbed Meta's "supreme court" told some employees their jobs were at risk, an unnamed source quoted by the newspaper said.

The cuts are expected to affect staff who support the 22 experts, including academics and lawyers, who make decisions about content moderation on Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, the Post said.

Mark Zuckerberg announced the Oversight Board, which operates independently from Meta, in late 2018, and it began operating in October 2020. It was initially funded by Meta with a $130 million grant and a further $120 million in 2022.

In a statement sent to Business Insider, Stephen Neal, the Oversight Board Trust's chair, confirmed it was making "targeted cuts."

He said the reductions would allow the board "to further optimize our operations by prioritizing the most impactful aspects of our work that are delivering results for millions of people who use Meta's platforms around the world."

Neal said Meta remained committed to the board's success and that the Oversight Board Trust was confident the company would continue to provide funding.

"Looking forward, we will continue to take the hardest cases, keep holding Meta to account, while working to improve how people across the world experience Facebook, Instagram and Threads," he said.

A Meta representative told BI that the company "remains committed to the Oversight Board, which operates independently from the company, and continues to strongly support its work."

Meta said it valued the board's perspective and planned to continue updating policies and practices in response to its feedback.

While the Oversight Board operates independently from Meta, the layoffs may affect the company's ability to police misinformation on its platforms amid mounting concerns about the spread of misinformation as the 2024 US presidential election approaches.

The Financial Times reported that regulators were already concerned that Meta's moderation did not go far enough to target political advertising that put electoral processes at risk.

Big Tech companies have been trying to show they're ready to combat new threats posed by the rise of AI-generated content and deepfakes. The large variety of widely accessible artificial-intelligence tools has led to a surge of fake visual content online, which many platforms are struggling to police.

Meta recently announced it would begin labeling a wider variety of content with its "Made with AI" label after an Oversight Board recommendation.

The company said it would add the label to audio, video, or images when industry-standard AI-image indicators are detected or when users identify the content they upload as AI-generated.

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