Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has proposed a ‘Facebook Supreme Court’ to rule on hate speech reports on the social media platform.
In an interview with Vox.com Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined the future of the social media platform, at one point suggesting that a “Supreme Court” model could be used when judging what counts as hate speech on the platform. As the company reels from their latest user data scandal — which saw stock prices plummet — and a market value loss of approximately $100 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been attempting to open discussion about how Facebook can improve.
Zuckerberg was asked about the site’s governance structure and the general lack of oversight of the company. Ezra Klein noted that there was no “quadrennial election for CEO of Facebook,” which may lead to a lack of accountability for the company. Zuckerberg responded to this by outlining Facebook’s supposed principles; “Here are a few of the principles. One is transparency,” said Zuckerberg. “Right now, I don’t think we are transparent enough around the prevalence of different issues on the platform. We haven’t done a good job of publishing and being transparent about the prevalence of those kinds of issues, and the work that we’re doing and the trends of how we’re driving those things down over time.”
The Facebook CEO then discussed the lack of accountability for Facebook’s moderation team who decide what content should be allowed on the platform. “A second is some sort of independent appeal process. Right now, if you post something on Facebook and someone reports it and our Community Operations and Review Team looks at it and decides that it needs to get taken down, there’s not really a way to appeal that. I think in any kind of good-functioning democratic system, there needs to be a way to appeal. And I think we can build that internally as a first step.”
Zuckerberg’s solution? A Facebook hate speech “Supreme Court.” Zuckerberg stated “What I’d really like to get to is an independent appeal. So maybe folks at Facebook make the first decision based on the community standards that are outlined, and then people can get a second opinion. You can imagine some sort of structure, almost like a Supreme Court, that is made up of independent folks who don’t work for Facebook, who ultimately make the final judgment call on what should be acceptable speech in a community that reflects the social norms and values of people all around the world.”
Given Facebook’s history of banning conservatives and various other users and pages for very little reason, an appeals process may not be the worst idea. Whether or not Facebook will bother to go to the effort of implementing such a system is yet to be seen. On the other hand, the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe have a history of creating “independent” bodies that are staffed almost exclusively by progressives. For example, the Twitter “Trust and Safety Council” whose membership includes notorious feminist Anita Sarkeesian.