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Facebook aims to appoint members to its content oversight board this year

The social network is also expected to release a final charter for the board this month.


Facebook is forming a board to review contentious decisions about what the social network leaves up or pulls down. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook's vision to form a board that will review tough calls about what content the world's largest social network keeps up or pulls down is moving closer to becoming a reality. 

"We are still in the process of figuring out some of the specifics and exactly who will be on it, but this is something that we are hoping to have people in place for the board by the end of this year," Monika Bickert, Facebook's vice president of global policy management, told Yahoo Finance

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed Thursday that the company is aiming to appoint board members by the end of this year. The social network is also expected this month to release a final charter outlining how the board will work and how many people will be part of it. Facebook could give the board the power to influence its policies rather than just the ability to review the social network's toughest content decisions.

Facebook's plans to create an oversight board come as the social media giant faces criticism about its content decisions. Earlier this week, four Republican senators sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg accusing the company of censoring pro-life content and calling for another audit that looks into concerns that the social network suppresses conservative speech. Facebook has repeatedly denied these accusations. At the same time, the company is under pressure to combat misinformation, hate speech and other offensive content. 

On Thursday, the social network also published a list of values the company considers when deciding whether to remove content. That includes authenticity, safety, privacy and dignity, according to a blog post written by Bickert. The company will sometimes keep up content that violates its rules if it's in the public interest or newsworthy, she said.

"We want people to be able to talk openly about the issues that matter to them, even if some may disagree or find them objectionable," Bickert said.