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Facebook’s Supreme Court: How and why?

Facebook’s Supreme Court: How and why?


Facebook as a social media app has expanded itself into every sphere of life dramatically. From political mobilization to cultural sensitivity, facebook has impacted our way of seeing and interpreting everything. There are two extremes of facebook, either it can be just an app to find old school friends or it can be an ideal tool for orientation and mobilization. 

The Problem: Experts have been critical of facebook’s shady monetization process but one thing which has made facebook more infamous is, censorship of certain content”. This concern caught many activists’ attention who firmly believe that speech should not be controlled by big tech companies. 

The Solution: Eventually Facebook’s Oversight Board has announced that in case of content removal users can now submit appeals to the global body for an independent review.

Facebook announced it’s Over Sight Board decision an year ago and now they have made this body which comprises 20 members. The board will eventually swell to nearly double its current size over time, Facebook says.

The Procedure: Cases will be decided with the help of Facebook’s community standards and values and international human rights standards. The board is able to recommend changes to Facebook’s community standards alongside its decisions. Every case that board has to deal with will have a public comment period too this will allow third parties to share their insights with the board. Case descriptions will be posted on the board website. Any information which could potentially identify the users involved in a case will not be included.

The Members: Members of Oversight boards are picked from different countries of the world so that there is not issue of representation as follows:  

Tawakkol Karman: an Arab journalist, civil rights activist and Nobel laureate.

Maina Kiai: United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Assembly and Association

Evelyn Aswad: a law professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law and the director of the school’s Center for International Business and Human Rights.

Endy Baynui: executive director of the International Association of Religion Journalists. 

Pamela Karlan: professor at Stanford Law School, and serves as co-director to Stanford’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic.

Nighat Dad: a Pakistani lawyer and co-founder of Digital Rights Foundation — a non-profit that focuses on “cyber harassment, data protection and free speech online in Pakistan and South Asia.

John Samples: a VP at the Cato Institute, a Libertarian think tank founded by the Koch brothers.

Emi Palmor: an Israeli lawyer and professor, and served as the Director General of the Ministry of Justice for five years

Catalina Botero-Marino: a lawyer and dean of the Law School at Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia.

Michael McConnell:  director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School. 

Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei: a human rights lawyer whose career focuses on “supporting and developing transformational social programs and advocacy strategies,

Ronaldo Lemos: a lawyer who focuses on “technology, intellectual property, media and public policy.

Andras Sajo: a former judge and vice president at the European Court of Human Rights,

Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy: a law professor and serves as vice chancellor at the National Law School of India University

Katherine Chen: a communications professor at National Chengchi University (NCCU), Taiwan.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt: former prime minister of Denmark, from 2011 to 2015, and currently serves as a member of a variety of foreigh policy think tanks

Nicolas Suzor: a law professor at Queensland University of Technology, and a member of the leadership at the school’s Digital Media Research Centre. 

Julie Owono: an executive director of Internet Sans Frontières, an open internet advocacy group. 

Alan Charles Rusbridger: Principal at Lady Margaret Hall, and former Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian

Jamal Greene: a law professor at Columbia Law School.

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