The advisory group issued its first annual report on Wednesday.
Over one million appeals were received by the Oversight Board in the year 2020. The board was asked to overturn the content on Meta apps that were removed for breaking the rules. The board made decisions and explanations on some cases. 70% of the cases the group reviewed were overturned.
The board writes in the report that there was huge demand for an organization to appeal Meta's decisions.
The Oversight Board is currently considering reinstating former President Donald Trump, who was removed from Facebook after encouraging the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The board asked Meta to clarify the rules that kicked the president off the platform. The board said at the time that Facebook didn't follow a clear procedure in applying the penalty.
Facebook will reconsider Trump’s ban in two years
Beyond its decisions, which set a kind of precedent for future policy enforcement, the board also makes more general recommendations to Meta for how the company should think about particular aspects of moderation and rules.
The board requested that the company issue a transparent report specific to how well it has enforced COVID-19-related rules, as well as asking it to prioritize fact-checking for governments that share health misinformation.
There were 86 policy recommendations made by the Oversight Board. Meta has implemented a few of the board's suggestions for better moderation transparency, including giving users more insight when they violate the platform's hate speech rules and notifying them about if artificial intelligence or human moderation led to an enforcement decision. The outcomes are tracked in the annual report, which sheds light on how effective the group's impact really is.
Meta’s Oversight Board urges Facebook and Instagram to tighten doxing rules
Meta has failed to integrate into its moderation decisions, which is why the Oversight Board reviews content moderation cases from all over the world. The company has been accused of being able to monitor its social platforms in non English speaking markets. The report states that half of the Oversight Board's decisions pertain to countries in the Global South.
Initially, the board only reviewed cases in which users asked for their content to be restored, but the group expanded to consider cases asking for it to be removed. The Oversight Board's realm of decision making is limited to questions about individual posts and not the many other features that people use on social media sites.
The board wants to give it more power to advise Meta on moderation, not just individual posts. The final word on what the semi-independent advisory group can actually do is still being given by the company.
The Oversight Board wants Facebook to explain its controversial rules for VIPs
Facebook’s Oversight Board throws the company a Trump-shaped curveball