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Facebook is set to form an independent election commission ahead of the 2022 midterms 


Facebook is in talkes to form an independent election commission comprised of experts to help it decide how to run political adverts and stamp out fake news ahead of the 2022 midterms.  

The proposed commission would help Facebook navigate the qualms of today’s political ads and what to do about election-related misinformation, after years of the social media giant facing scrutiny over its handling of such matters, The New York Times reported. 

Facebook is expected to officially announce the commission this fall in preparation for the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, but sources said the plan was still in its infancy and could fall apart before then. 

Facebook did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment. 

The social media giant is reportedly looking to implement an election commission to help advice the handling of political ads and election-related fake news

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has had to repeatedly testify at Capitol Hill over his company's decision making process. Pictured, Zuckerberg testifying remotely to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee last October

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has had to repeatedly testify at Capitol Hill over his company’s decision making process. Pictured, Zuckerberg testifying remotely to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee last October

A normal election commission is a body charged with overseeing the fair implementation of a country’s electoral process.  

Facebook’s commission would be similar to its independent Oversight Board, which was launched in 2018 to oversee whether the company was correct to remove certain posts from its platforms. 

The Oversight Board has allowed Facebook to sidestep criticism as it shows that it does not make decisions on its own as the board is led by a collection of legal, policy, and journalism experts. 

The board is paid through an independent trust.  

Outsourcing election matters to experts in a similar matter would help curb complaints from both conservatives and liberals regarding post deletions and allowing misinformation to fester online, sources told the NY Times. 

Facebook had first experienced a wave of complaints going back to the 2016 presidential election, when it faced issues of Russian agents manipulating the platforms advertising and social media posts. 

During the 2020 election, Facebook faced criticisms for changing the rules around political ads.  

The social network had initially barred the purchase of new political ads the week before the election and then banned all political advertising after the polls closed, causing an uproar, the NY Times reported. 

Facebook also faced election-related problems in the 2018 Brazilian presidential election through its WhatsApp messaging service and in India’s 2019 national elections. 

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly testified in front of congress regarding his companies decisions to remove posts and its mismanaging of rampant fake news.  

The Oversight Board ruled against Facebook's decision to ban Trump indefinitely

The Oversight Board ruled against Facebook’s decision to ban Trump indefinitely 

Donald Trump, left, criticized Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg following his two year ban from the social media giant's platforms. Pictured, Trump and Zuckerberg in 2019

Donald Trump, left, criticized Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg following his two year ban from the social media giant’s platforms. Pictured, Trump and Zuckerberg in 2019 

The Oversight Board was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year when it reviewed Facebook’s suspension of President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. 

Facebook had banned Trump indefinitely from their platform and Instagram, but the Oversight Board deemed the penalty ‘not appropriate.’ 

Trump was later banned for at least two years. 

‘Next time I’m in the White House there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. It will be all business!’ Trump wrote in a statement from his ‘Save America’ PAC.  

The Oversight Board also looked over Facebook’s policy to block misinformation regarding the coronavirus and the vaccines against it, which was eventually lifted this May.  

In April of last year, Facebook had announced that it was imposing limits on ¿harmful misinformation about COVID-19¿

In April of last year, Facebook had announced that it was imposing limits on ‘harmful misinformation about COVID-19’

Sources told the NY Times that while the Oversight Board is seen as a reactionary tool to something that has been posted, the election commission would proactively provide assistance before Facebook has to make a decision.

Tatenda Musapatike, who previously worked on elections at Facebook, said that while many have lost faith in the social media giant’s ability to handle political posts, the forming the commission would be a step in the right direction. 

‘They’re doing something, and they’re not saying, “We alone can handle it.”‘ 



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