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Facebook Post Removals May Soon Get An Appeals Process

By April 9, 2018June 8th, 2022Technology News

There are some big changes coming to Facebook, which may have some serious unintended consequences.

In a recent interview, Mark Zuckerberg indicated that he’s considering allowing users to independently appeal to the content moderation team if their posts get taken down for violating various community policies.

On the surface of it, this seems like it would be a good thing. Zuckerberg said that the move is designed to give people in the Facebook communities what they want, rather than reflecting short-term, profit-driven wishes of the shareholders.

It’s a significant change because as of right now, Facebook only allows for appeals if content was removed for violation of copyright laws. In addition, the appeal must be made via a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notification, which makes it a somewhat daunting process.

Zuckerberg describes the new approach as follows: “So maybe the folks at Facebook make the first decision based on the community standards that are outlined, and then people can get a second opinion.  You can imagine some sort of structure, almost like a Supreme Court, that is made up of independent folks who don’t work for Facebook, who ultimately make the final judgement call on what should be acceptable speech in a community that reflects the social norms and values of people all around the world….I think we can build that internally as a first step.”

All of that looks good on paper, but there are some major problems with this approach.

First,  the company will struggle to find enough volunteers to monitor content and appeals to keep pace with demand.  Given the size of Facebook’s footprint on the web, that’s a very real concern. The new, easier appeal policy is certain to cause the number of appeals to explode.

Second, if not done with great care and forethought, it could further polarize the platform. It could lead to the development of more estranged “information silos,” which runs counter to what the company ultimately wants its global network to be.  In addition to that, it could easily lead to a massive backlash against the company.

Time will tell, but the coming months should be interesting indeed.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.