New Delhi: Facebook is said to be planning to form a commission to advise it on issues related to global elections, and has approached academics and policy experts to discuss this, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
Citing five-person privy to knowledge of the matter, the report said the proposed body could decide on matters such as political ads, their viability, besides concerns around all misinformation related to elections.
While the report did not quote Facebook, and the social media giant has not come out with any statement on this, NYT said an announcement could come ahead of the 2022 US midterm polls.
The report, however, said the plan is in the preliminary stage and there was still a possibility of it falling apart.
Facebook does not have a good track record when it comes to election-related issues. In the 2016 US presidential election, it had faced charges of Russian manipulation of the platform’s advertising and posts.
Outsourcing election-related matters to an expert could help the platform sidestep any criticism of bias by political groups in different countries, two of the five people mentioned above told NYT, speaking anonymously.
It is, however, not the first time that Facebook has decided to have an external committee to help it with major decisions. In 2018, it formed the Oversight Board to rule on whether Facebook is right to remove certain posts from its platform. The board comprises academics, policy experts, former politicians, and others.
In May this year, the Oversight Board came out with its decision on the big matter involving former US President Donald Trump. After reviewing Facebook’s suspension of Trump after the January 6 storming of the US Capitol by his supporters, the board upheld the ban but said it was not right to make the suspension indefinite.
Facebook responded in June, saying it would bar Trump for at least two years.