Global Freedom of Expression

How to Judge Facebook’s New Judges

Key Details

  • Region
  • Themes
    Facebook Community Standards, Content-Related Requests and Decisions, Content Regulation / Censorship

The social media company’s search for consistent rules has been long, winding, and entirely self-defeating. 

The article by Jacob Mchangama appeared in Foreign Policy Magazine on December 4, 2020. It reviews the context within which Facebook’s Oversight Board emerged: the controversy of “not removing enough and also removing too much content,” the company’s constantly changing community standards, and lack of transparency. 

Mchangama argues, however, that the Oversight Board has the potential “to strengthen the legitimacy of Facebook’s content moderation.” Several principles can deliver that by guiding the Board’s decision-making: issuing clear and reasoned decisions, establishing the benefit of doubt for users, providing a “robust and objective definition” of hate speech, and remaining wary of “censorship envy.” 

Read the full article here.


Jacob Mchangama

Director, Justitia
Former Visiting Scholar, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression