Meta’s Oversight Board has announced it will review more content moderation cases and publish some decisions within 48 hours of accepting the case.
The announcement came in an official blog post published on Tuesday. The Oversight Board aims to expand the scope of disputed Instagram and Facebook content moderation cases by expediting reviews under the board’s bylaws that have yet not been used. The board says it is exploring new ways to impact its work and improve how Meta treats people and communities around the world.
“Increasing the number of decisions we produce, and the speed at which we do so, will let us tackle more of the big challenges of content moderation, and respond more quickly in situations with urgent real-world consequences,” says the board.
The “independent” advisory board, which was created in 2020 by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, receives cases from both the company and users to make rulings on whether to uphold or overturn Meta’s actions concerning specific content across Facebook and Instagram. It comprises human rights advocates, lawyers and academics, and makes decisions on a range of content, including text, photos and videos.
Since its inception, the Oversight Board has delivered 35 detailed decisions. It will now begin publishing expedited and summary decisions to maximise its impact in “urgent situations”.
“We have designed a new set of procedures to allow us to publish an expedited decision as soon as 48 hours after accepting a case, but in some cases it might take longer – up to 30 days,” the board says. “Expedited decisions on whether to take down or leave up content will be binding on Meta.”
However, due to the time constraints in expedited decisions, the board will not be able to consider public comments, which have been an integral part of its rulings on diverse cases from around the world. The decisions will be made based on the information available at the time of deliberation and the board may also decide to select user appeals for expedited review in specific instances.
As for summary decisions, the board says that “Meta has reversed its original decision for around 80 shortlisted cases in this way”. In majority of cases, Meta had to restore the content in question, ensuring that users’ voices are heard on Facebook and Instagram.
“While we publish full decisions for a small number of these cases, the rest have only been briefly summarized in our quarterly transparency reports,” the board adds. “We believe that these cases hold important lessons and can help Meta avoid making the same mistakes in the future.”
The board’s Case Selection Committee will review some of these cases to be reviewed as summary decisions. They will include information about Meta’s original errors, which the Oversight Board says may be useful to researchers and civil society groups. Summary decisions will include public comments as well.