The Oversight Board– better known to many as the Facebook Oversight Board– has invited public input as it formulates a “policy advisory opinion” regarding the Meta corporation’s so-called “cross-check” system. As revealed in the very first of the “Facebook Files” reports by the Wall Street Journal, the once-secret program was built with the intention of protecting high-profile accounts from abuse, in the form of false positive automated content moderation actions. But in practice, the list (which grew to include millions of people) often had an opposite effect, shielding from reprisal the abusive behavior of some of Facebook’s digitally sanctified elite. The net result has been a further blow to public trust in Facebook, an increase in doubt as to the efficacy of the Oversight Board, and more fuel pouring on the burning fires of regulator interest.

The comments below, submitted to the Oversight Board on behalf of the R Street Institute, offer thoughts and recommendations for changes in policy and practice by Meta, grounded in transparency and receptivity to external input, that can begin to address the harm that has been done and make some progress on the long journey to improving public trust.

Comments of the R Street Institute on Cross-check – Policy Advisory Opinion Oversight Board

Image credit: Jirapong