Facebook considers forming an election commission -NY Times

FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Facebook logo
FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Facebook logo is placed between small toy people figures in front of a keyboard in this illustration taken April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

August 26, 2021

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc has approached academics and policy experts about forming a commission to advise it on issues relating to global elections, the New York Times reported https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/25/technology/facebook-election-commission.html on Wednesday, citing five people with knowledge of the matter.

The proposed body could decide on matters such as political ads and their viability and concerns around election-related misinformation, according to the report.

An announcement on the commission could come this fall in preparation for the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, the report said, cautioning such efforts were preliminary and could still fall apart.

Facebook declined to comment.

Social media companies have grappled in recent years with how to handle https://www.reuters.com/world/us/ahead-trump-facebook-ruling-heres-how-social-media-sites-handle-world-leaders-2021-05-04 world leaders and politicians who violate their guidelines.

The commission, if formed, would not be the first time Facebook has set up external groups to help it make major decisions. In 2018, the company created the Oversight Board, a panel that includes former politicians, academics and policy experts to rule on whether Facebook is right to remove certain content from its platform.

In May, the Oversight Board upheld Facebook’s suspension of former U.S. President Donald Trump, but said the company was wrong to make the ban indefinite.

(Reporting by Sohini Podder in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Aditya Soni and Karishma Singh)