Facebook disagrees with Oversight Board on tweaking Covid policies


San Francisco, Feb 26 : Facebook has disagreed with one Covid-19 related recommendation made by the independent Oversight Board, saying that this will lead to softening its enforcement of misinformation related to the pandemic.

The Oversight Board last month made 17 recommendations, based on the six cases, for Facebook to improve its content moderation.

Nick Clegg, VP, Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook said on Thursday that they are committed to consider the recommendations and communicate transparently about actions taken.

“There is one remaining recommendation that we disagree with and will not be taking action on since it relates to softening our enforcement of Covid-19 misinformation,” Clegg said.

“In consultation with global health authorities, we continue to believe our approach of removing Covid-19 misinformation that might lead to imminent harm is the correct one during a global pandemic,” he added.

Clegg said that Facebook will continue to evaluate which kind of reviews or appeals should be done by people and which can be safely handled by automated systems, and “how best to provide transparency about how decisions were made”.

“We will test the board’s recommendation to tell people when their content is removed by automation,” he informed.

The Oversight Board has been set up as an independent body to review Facebook’s content moderation decisions and make binding judgments about its policies.

The Oversight Board last month overturned four of Facebook’s decisions to remove posts for violating policies on hate speech, violence and other issues.

“When we created the Oversight Board, we hoped its impact would come not just from its decisions on individual cases, but also from broader recommendations on how we can improve our policies and practices. This is the start of that process,” Clegg mentioned.

He said that Facebook is also working on a new Transparency Center that is expected to be launched in the coming months.

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