Facebook backs social media 'Supreme Court' with $130M

The oversight board will operate independently from Facebook

Facebook Inc. has committed $130 million to a Supreme Court-like oversight board that will decide on or recommend what kind of content is moderated and removed from the social media site.

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The Oversight Trust Board, which will be independent from Facebook, is the latest update in Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's efforts that started in November 2018 to govern harmful content on Facebook and its apps, highlighting the company's ongoing efforts to make the right calls in terms of content moderation while still promoting free speech.

"We’ve established the independent Oversight Board Trust to ensure the board can safeguard its ability to make independent decisions and recommendations," a press release from the Silicon Valley-based tech giant reads.

Facebook's "initial commitment" of $130 million will go toward six years of operational spending, including salaries for board members, offices, lawyers and a corporate trust that will be managed by financial services firm Brown Brothers Harriman, the release notes.

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FBFACEBOOK INC.254.82+5.29+2.12%

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"We’ve seen strong global interest in serving on the board, and this is a sign that we are heading in the right direction. While we had hoped to announce members by the end of this year, we’ve decided to take additional time to consider the many candidates who continue to be put forward," Facebook said in the release.

The social media giant has come under fire in recent years for removing content that some argued should not have been removed and not removing content that some argued was harmful. Most recently, Zuckerberg was criticized before Congress for allowing political candidates to post advertisements that contain factual inaccuracies without being fact-checked.

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"In a democracy, people should decide what is credible, not tech companies," Facebook said in an Oct. 24 statement to the Associated Press. "That’s why -- like other internet platforms and broadcasters -- we don’t fact check ads from politicians."

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