Facebook is considering creating a commission that would weigh in on global election-related issues on the platform, according to The New York Times. Facebook has talked to academics and policy experts about the commission, which The New York Times reports is expected to be announced this fall ahead of the 2022 US midterm elections.
Like how the independent Oversight Board helps review content moderation appeals, it sounds as if Facebook could ask the election commission to handle some decisions about election content. That could reduce the perception that Facebook’s decisions about content are politically biased, which has been a common criticism lobbed toward the company from conservatives. However, it’s unclear if this election commission would operate with the same level of independence as the Oversight Board does.
Facebook declined to comment.
If Facebook is considering making an election commission that operates like the Oversight Board, it could indicate that the Oversight Board is taking some pressure off the social network about content moderation and that it perhaps wants to do the same with election-related issues.
That said, the Oversight Board has come under some criticism of its own — conservatives weren’t happy with the Board’s ruling that Facebook can keep former President Donald Trump’s ban in place, for example. But an election commission could help Facebook make the case that it is making choices about election content from a place of policy, not politics.