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Sun Jan 24, 2021, 09:47 PM

Trump Wants Back on Facebook. This Star-Studded Jury Might Let Him. [View all]

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/24/business/media/trump-facebook-oversight-board.html

Trump Wants Back on Facebook. This Star-Studded Jury Might Let Him.
A new kind of corporate supercourt is looking for legitimacy.
By Ben Smith
Jan. 24, 2021, 8:02 p.m. ET

They meet mostly on Zoom, but I prefer to picture the members of this court, or council, or whatever it is, wearing reflective suits and hovering via hologram around a glowing table. The members include two people who were reportedly on presidential shortlists for the U.S. Supreme Court, along with a Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize laureate, a British Pulitzer winner, Colombia’s leading human rights lawyer and a former prime minister of Denmark. The 20 of them come, in all, from 18 countries on six continents, and speak 27 languages among them.

This is the Oversight Board, a hitherto obscure body that will, over the next 87 days, rule on one of the most important questions in the world: Should Donald J. Trump be permitted to return to Facebook and reconnect with his millions of followers?

Mr. Zuckerberg floated the notion of an independent content moderation body back in 2018, and Facebook finally appointed its members last May. The company put $130 million into a legally independent trust with a staff of 30, which two people involved said paid six figures annually to each board member for what has become a commitment of roughly 15 hours a week. The board is structurally independent, and Mr. Zuckerberg has promised its decisions will be binding. The members I spoke to said they felt no particular obligation to Facebook’s shareholders. The company, meanwhile, has pledged to abide by decisions on topics as varied as nudity and hate speech, in hopes that it will ultimately shield Mr. Zuckerberg from making endless, impossibly controversial public choices.

But the board has been handling pretty humdrum stuff so far. It has spent a lot of time, two people involved told me, discussing nipples, and how artificial intelligence can identify different nipples in different contexts. Board members have also begun pushing to have more power over the crucial question of how Facebook amplifies content, rather than just deciding on taking posts down and putting them up, those people said. In October, it took on a half-dozen cases, about posts by random users, not world leaders: Can Facebook users in Brazil post images of women’s nipples to educate their followers about breast cancer? Should the platform allow users to repost a Muslim leader’s angry tweet about France? It is expected to finally issue rulings at the end of this week, after what participants described as a long training followed by slow and intense deliberations.


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Reply Trump Wants Back on Facebook. This Star-Studded Jury Might Let Him. [View all]
dalton99a Jan 2021 OP
Irish_Dem Jan 2021 #1
PSPS Jan 2021 #2
Frerotte Jan 2021 #3
Fullduplexxx Jan 2021 #4
2naSalit Jan 2021 #6
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Nevilledog Jan 2021 #7