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Facebook's Oversight Board Members Include Nobel Laureate, Former Denmark PM

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) on Wednesday announced the first 20 members of its content oversight board, nearly 18 months after CEO Mark Zuckerbag first shared a

Benzinga · 05/07/2020 15:49

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) on Wednesday announced the first 20 members of its content oversight board, nearly 18 months after CEO Mark Zuckerbag first shared a blueprint of the plan.

Facebook Boasts Diverse Board

Former Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Stanford Law School Professor Michael McConnell, Columbia Law School Professor Jamal Greene and Dean of the Universidad de los Andes Faculty of Law Catalina Botero-Marino will serve as the co-chairs of the Oversight Board, Facebook said.

Other members include Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize awardee Tawakkol Karman, Kenyan human rights activist Maina Kiai, Pakistani digital rights activist Nighat Dad and the Indonesian publication Jakarta Post's editor Endy Bayuni.

Facebook said diversity was an important criteria in its selection, and said that its members have lived in over 27 countries and speak over 29 languages.

The social media company noted that the oversight board has five members from the United States and Canada, four members from Europe, three members from Asia-Pacific & Oceania and two each from Latin America & the Carribean, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Central & South Asia.

Board Can Override Zuckerberg's Decisions

Facebook said it selected the four co-chairs with external help, who in turn helped elect the rest of the 16 members.

Once all of the 40 members of the board are selected, the Zuckerbeg-led company will stop interfering in the selection process and the existing members will decide on the selection of future members, according to Facebook. 

The oversight board, which was created by Facebook in the wake of the criticism related to hate speech and harassment on its platform, will have the ultimate authority over what content stays and what is removed from the platform.

"We expect them to make some decisions that we, at Facebook, will not always agree with — but that's the point: they are truly autonomous in their exercise of independent judgment," Facebook said in a statement.

"We also expect that the board's membership itself will face criticism. But its long-term success depends on it having members who bring different perspectives and expertise to bear."

FB Price Action

Facebook shares were trading 0.82% higher at $210.17 at the time of publication Thursday. The shares traded 0.22% lower at $208.01 in the after-hours session.