The Lawfare Podcast: Facebook’s Thoughts on Its Oversight Board

By Jen Patja Howell
Thursday, August 5, 2021, 5:01 AM

There have been a thousand hot takes about the Facebook Oversight Board, the Supreme Court-like thing Facebook set up to oversee its content moderation. The Board generated so much press coverage when it handed down its decision on Donald Trump’s account that Kaitlyn Tiffany at The Atlantic called the whole circus “like Shark Week, but less scenic.” Everyone weighed in, from Board Members, to lawmakers, academics, critics and even Lawfare podcast hosts. But there’s a group we haven’t heard much from: the people at Facebook who are actually responsible for sending cases to the Board and responding to the Board’s policy recommendations. Everyone focuses on the Board Members, but the people at Facebook are the ones that can make the Board experiment actually translate into change—or not. So this week for our Arbiters of Truth series on our online information environment, in light of Facebook’s first quarterly update on the Board, Evelyn Douek talked with Jennifer Broxmeyer and Rachel Lambert, both of whom work at Facebook on Facebook’s side of the Oversight Board experiment. What do they think of the first six or so months of the Oversight Board’s work? How do they grade their own efforts? Why is their mark different from Evelyn’s? And, will the Oversight Board get jurisdiction over the metaverse?