Facebook is considering creating a committee to look into global election-related issues on the platform, according to The New York Times. Facebook has talked to academics and policy experts about the commission, which The New York Times reports are expected to be announced this fall, ahead of the 2022 US midterm elections.
Like how the independent Oversight Board helps review content moderation appeals, it sounds like Facebook could ask the Election Commission to handle some election content decisions. That could reduce the perception that Facebook’s content decisions are politically biased, which has been a common criticism of the company from conservatives. However, it is unclear whether this election commission would operate with the same level of independence as the Oversight Board.
Facebook declined to comment.
If Facebook considers setting up an election committee to act as the Oversight Board, it could indicate that the Oversight Board is taking some pressure off the social network over content moderation, and it may want to do the same on election-related issues.
That said, the Oversight Board itself has also been criticized — conservatives weren’t happy with the Board’s ruling that Facebook can, for example, uphold former President Donald Trump’s ban. But an election commission could help Facebook make clear that it makes choices about election content based on policy, not politics.