New Delhi, Aug 21 (PTI) Facebook's Oversight Board has said it will be within its scope to examine how the social media giant treats posts from public figures that may violate community standards and are the type of 'highly challenging cases' that the board expects to consider once it starts functioning.
Oversight Board is an independent body set up by Facebook for content moderation in a transparent manner. In May this year, Facebook announced the names of 20 board members, including National Law School of India University Vice Chancellor Sudhir Krishnaswamy.
The board is expected to begin operations in the coming months.
An Oversight Board spokesperson said the board, comprising independent expert members from around the world, is empowered to make binding and independent decisions on many of the most challenging content issues on Facebook and Instagram.
'... we are committed to protecting users and holding Facebook accountable. How Facebook treats posts from public figures that may violate the Community Standards are within the scope of the Board and are the type of highly challenging cases that the Board expects to consider when we begin operating,' the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
Further, the spokesperson said that hate speech is included in this, and 'we won't shy away from the tough cases and holding Facebook accountable'.
The board is working hard to become operational and expects to begin to hear cases in the coming months, the spokesperson added.
The board was formed after Facebook was mired in various controversies, including the one in relation to Cambridge Analytica.
A recent Wall Street Journal report alleged that Facebook's content policies favoured the ruling party in India. Since then, the ruling BJP and opposition Congress have been trading barbs over social media giant's alleged bias.
Facebook -- which counts India among its largest markets with 300 million users -- has asserted that it is an open, transparent and non-partisan platform and that it will continue to remove content posted by public figures in India 'when it violates' its Community Standards.
Employees of Facebook have also questioned the social media platform's handling of hate speech and political content, and whether the policies were circumvented by company executives in India.
Multiple sources said employees have been raising questions around the issue on various groups on Facebook's internal network -- which looks similar to Facebook's social media product for consumers.
These include discussions around the WSJ article, questions around the company's stance on the issue and whether rules were indeed bent in this matter, they said.
During the company town hall on Wednesday, most questions revolved around this matter. Most questions were around people wanting to know Facebook's position on how political content is handled in India and whether the policies laid out around content regulations were being followed, the sources said. PTI SR ANZ RAM BAL BAL