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Facebook under fire for ‘supreme court’ failings

Telegraph 11 Nov 2021 06:00

Facebook is under fire for failing to give its “supreme court” sufficient power to force change after figures showed the company had implemented just a sixth of recent recommendations from the self-regulatory body.

Roger McNamee, an early investor in Facebook and vocal critic, said the social media giant now known as Meta had set up the Oversight Board to “deflect criticism”, but that it had given it "gravitas without having any actual power". 

The board, launched in 2019 and promoted by its policy chief, Sir Nick Clegg, is made up of a collection of academics and human rights experts meant to keep the company in check.

It assesses controversial moderation cases and makes recommendations ranging from better explaining why users have been punished for breaking Facebook’s rules to translating its rules into more languages. 

However, it has emerged that just 12 of the 69 recommendations from the Oversight Board in the last six months have been fully implemented. 

Mr McNamee said the board was "entirely dependent on Facebook, both for resources, and for follow through on any recommendations it may make. To the extent Facebook doesn't feel like implementing a change, there's no chance it will be implemented."

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