After significant delays, the independent group Facebook created to officiate disputes about content posted by its users is ready to start hearing cases. But the group, called the Oversight Board, is launching too late to meaningfully evaluate controversial posts related to the U.S. elections on Nov. 3.
And while Facebook is giving considerable power to the entity in certain cases, the board will have a limited scope of authority to start—a far cry from CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s initial vision of creating a kind of Supreme Court to arbitrate the most contentious situations. Facebook still has wide discretion to determine which cases the board could hear, including for content that Facebook chooses not to remove. Users initially only have the ability to appeal decisions involving content that Facebook’s own moderators have already removed.