Facebook’s oversight board could bring a justice system to a platform that needs one

Illustration by Alex Castro / Th

About a year ago, after Mark Zuckerberg floated the idea on a podcast with Ezra Klein, I argued that Facebook needed some kind of Supreme Court. “A perfect content moderation regime likely is too much to hope for,” I wrote at the time. “But Facebook could build and support institutions that help it balance competing notions of free speech and a safe community. Ultimately, the question of what belongs on Facebook can’t be decided solely by the people who work there.”

In the months since, Facebook’s vision for its Supreme Court — which it has decided to give the rather less glamorous name of independent oversight board — has rapidly come into focus. Today, the company offered us the most details we’ve had on the plan to date. In a series...

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