Culture Magazine

Facebook Oversight Board

By Bbenzon @bbenzon

This is a discussion of Facebook's newly established oversight board. It is hosted by Ben Wittes, of Lawfare, and Kate Klonick, pf St. John's University School of Law. They are joined by three members of the board, amal Greene, Nicholas Suzor, and John Samples.
Jamal Greene is the Dwight Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, where he has taught courses on constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, the law of the political process, the First Amendment, and American federal courts. His scholarship focuses on constitutional rights adjudication as well as the structure of legal and constitutional argument.
Nicolas Suzor is a Professor at the Law School at Queensland University of Technology, where he helps lead QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre. He is also a Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society. His research examines the governance of the internet and social networks, the regulation of automated systems, digital copyright, and knowledge commons. He is the author of the 2019 book ‘Lawless: the secret rules that govern our digital lives’.
John Samples is a Vice President at the Cato Institute. He founded and now directs Cato’s Center for Representative Government, which studies freedom of speech, the First Amendment and other aspects of American political institutions. He is currently working on an update to his monograph, ‘Why Government Should not Regulate Content Moderation of Social Media.’ He is also the author of ‘The Struggle to Limit Government: A Modern Political History,’ and ‘The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform,’ as well as the co-editor with Michael McDonald of ‘The Marketplace of Democracy.' Prior to joining Cato, Samples served as Director of Georgetown University Press for eight years, and before that, as Vice President of the Twentieth Century Fund.
The discussion focuses on questions of legitimacy and independence. Toward the end – say, last third to a quarter – we learn that it has been established by a $130-million trust fund initially funded by Facebook. In theory it would be possible for other companies, e.g. Twitter, to contribute to the board and to avail itself of the board's services. That strikes me as potentially a very interesting institutional arrangement. Stay tuned.
Here's an oped written by four board members.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog