Facebook users can now appeal to content decisions made by Facebook and Instagram. This is through the Facebook Oversight Board. Such an independent body was formed last 26 May 2020. It consisted of 20 team members who are academics, journalists, law experts, and politicians from all over the globe.
Starting 22 October 2020, Facebook Oversight Board will be accepting content decision appeals. The process challenges any content removal decided by Facebook and Instagram. Appeals will be reviewed by the separate body for objectivity and safety. Here are the pathways on how cases come to the Oversight Board:
A Facebook user can appeal through the Oversight Board if he has already gone through the platform’s eligible content appeal. Facebook will issue a Reference ID upon rejection. A user needs to use this to file the content decision appeal.
Facebook Referred Cases
Facebook can also refer cases to the Oversight Board for difficult and significant content decisions. Difficult contents are those that raise strong arguments on existing policies. Significant contents are those with a large-scale impact on the community.
The Oversight Board has sole discretion to accept and reject these cases.
There are times when Facebook may request expedited reviews for exceptional circumstances. The board may hasten up the review for these cases. But it doesn’t stop Facebook to act first and fast.
Policy Opinion Advisory
Facebook can also request a policy opinion advisory from the board. As the Oversight Board has better knowledge of international human rights laws and norms, they can give valuable inputs about policy changes and developments.
Selected content decision appeals will be assigned to a 5-member panel including a representative from the region where the appeal comes from. The board will decide based on the freedom of expression and human rights standards. The content decision is to me be made on or before 90 days. Once a content decision is made, Facebook should put in place the corresponding action required.
Implications for Marketers:
Facebook’s content decision appeals are a new way to make a difference in the platform. For marketers, it’s important to be aware that the body wasn’t created to change Facebook policies. The Oversight Board may largely agree with Facebook’s logic but they can also balance controversial actions. As such, there are chances for questionable ads to be approved as long as they adhere to international human rights policies.