Last month, Facebook announced a draft charter for a future Oversight Board for Content Decisions. When implemented, the Oversight Board for Content Decisions, composed of independent experts, would be the last instance reviewer of important and disputed content moderation cases for the platform.
The promotion of diverse viewpoints has been the cornerstone of United States media policy over the last 100 years. In November 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg published an article that delineated the algorithm that Facebook will use to disincentivize hate speech. Although Zuckerberg’s proposal is a laudable step for content moderation, it may be neglecting the value of exposing people to diverse views and competing sources of news. As we debate moderation issues, platforms should consider not only the prohibition of hate speech, but also the affirmative exposure to broader ideas and perspectives. The Federal Communications Commission’s implementation of the diversity principle on radio and TV, explored below, offers some valuable lessons here.
Yesterday, reports surfaced that Facebook formed data-sharing partnerships with device makers, enabling companies like Amazon and Apple to access Facebook users’ and their friends’ data -- without those friends’ consent. Reports indicate that the shared data includes data pertaining to users who expressly denied Facebook permission to share their information with any third parties.
Recently, reports surfaced that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm that supported President Trump’s campaign, maintained copies of private data for about 50 million Facebook users without the majority of these users’ knowledge or consent. Public Knowledge finds Facebook’s lack of consumer privacy protection particularly egregious in this case and urges Congress to protect consumers by returning control of personal data to Americans.