Meta Oversight Board Pledges Quicker Case Reviews

Facebook’s Supreme Court, the Oversight Board, say it will review more content moderation cases and do it faster than before

The Oversight Board that makes the final content moderation decisions for all Meta Platforms’ products, has said it will improve its core mission functions.

In a blog post on Tuesday, it said that “today, we are announcing significant changes to our Charter and Bylaws to allow us to review more cases and to do so faster than before.”

The decision to create an Oversight Board was announced in September 2019, with the mission to review Facebook and Instagram’s decisions on taking down or leaving up certain content . It also issues rulings on whether to uphold or overturn Meta’s content moderation actions.

Faster decisions

So far, the board has published 35 case decisions, covering issues from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, to LGBTQI+ rights, as well as two policy advisory opinions.

One of the Oversight Board’s most high profile rulings involved the decision to reinstate the Instagram and Facebook accounts of former US President Donald Trump, after he was banned for two years for his role in inciting a mob of his supporters to storm the US Capitol building on Wednesday 6 January 2021, which resulted in the deaths of at least five people.

Now the Oversight Board has announced “significant changes” to its Charter and Bylaws to speed up its decision making processes.

“Moving forward, in addition to our standard decisions and policy advisory opinions, we will also be publishing expedited and summary decisions,” it said.

“Expedited decisions will review Meta’s decision on a piece of content within days in urgent cases, while summary decisions will examine Meta’s original decision in cases where it later changed its mind.”

Timings for rulings

The Oversight Board said it will begin issuing expedited rulings as quickly as 48 hours (without consulting the public), while others could take up to 30 days.

Standard decisions where the Oversight Board reviews Meta’s content moderation actions in depth, can take up to 90 days.

The Oversight Board also published a quarterly transparency report about its work in the fourth quarter of 2022, and has announced the appointment of a new Board Member, Kenji Yoshino – a constitutional law scholar from the United States.

This appointment has bolstered the number of Oversight Board members to 23 people.