Title

How to Make Facebook’s ‘Supreme Court’ Work

Document Type

Opinion

Publication Title

The New York Times

Publication Date

11-17-2018

Abstract

(Excerpt)

Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has announced a plan to create an independent body to make decisions about what kinds of content his site’s users will be allowed to post. It’s a development that he hinted at when he said on a podcast in April, “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.”

It appears that this “Supreme Court” idea is now going to be carried out — and the independence, transparency, accountability and oversight Mr. Zuckerberg described in announcing on Thursday that such a body would be created within a year all sound promising. But details so far are scarce, and what this really means for free speech and fair process on the internet will depend on the answer to one key question: How much will the “Supreme Court of Facebook” be like the Supreme Court of the United States?

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