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Mark Zuckerberg's 'Supreme Court' is up and running: Facebook exec

Brian Sozzi
·Editor-at-Large
·3-min read

The “Supreme Court” at Facebook is now in session, for the most part.

Facebook’s independent oversight council — an outside body of some 20 people that runs the gamut of a Nobel Laureate to the former prime minister of Denmark tasked with deciding what information could be pulled from the site — is in place, a top Facebook executive tells Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.

“They’re just getting up and running,” Facebook director of public affairs Robert Traynham said.

The oversight council was dubbed the “Supreme Court” by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in a 2018 interview and is more than two years in the making. It will hear appeals cases from users on the content Facebook has removed from its platform. The outside board has the power to overrule decisions made by the social media giant’s moderators and executives, notably Zuckerberg.

FILE - In this April 11, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Facebook said Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, that it expects to name the first members of a new quasi-independent oversight board by year-end. The oversight panel, which the social network first discussed publicly last November, will rule on thorny content issues, such as when Facebook or Instagram posts constitute hate speech. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
FILE - In this April 11, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Facebook said Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, that it expects to name the first members of a new quasi-independent oversight board by year-end. The oversight panel, which the social network first discussed publicly last November, will rule on thorny content issues, such as when Facebook or Instagram posts constitute hate speech. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Facebook has pledged $130 million to fund the efforts of the council.

It’s unclear, however, what influence this group will have on perceived political misinformation ahead of the Nov. 3 election. Cases are expected to be resolved in 90 days.

“I think it’s unlikely they’ll be able to see cases between now and Election Day, but that could change,” said Traynham.

The council is among a series of initiatives by Facebook to rally back from Russian interference on the platform in the 2016 presidential election. Facebook announced earlier this month it will stop taking political advertising in the U.S. seven days before the election. The company has also put a ‘Voter Information Center’ at the top of feeds on Facebook and Instagram.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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