Requesting Oversight Board Guidance on Our Cross-Check System

By Nick Clegg, VP, Global Affairs

Update on October 21, 2021 at 5:05AM PT:

The Oversight Board announced that it will review our cross-check system and provide recommendations on how we can improve it. You can read more in our Transparency Center.

Originally published on September 28, 2021 at 7:00AM PT:

Facebook will ask the Oversight Board — in the form of a Policy Advisory Opinion — for recommendations about how we can continue to improve our cross-check system. Specifically, we will ask the board for guidance on the criteria we use to determine what is prioritized for a secondary review via cross-check, as well as how we manage the program.  

Facebook reviews billions of pieces of content everyday, has 40,000 people working on safety and security, and has built some of the most sophisticated technology to help with content enforcement. Despite that, we know we are going to make mistakes. The cross-check system was built to prevent potential over-enforcement mistakes and to double-check cases where, for example, a decision could require more understanding or there could be a higher risk for a mistake. This could include activists raising awareness of instances of violence, journalists reporting from conflict zones or other content from high-visibility Pages and profiles where correct enforcement is especially important given the number of people who could see it. 

We know the system isn’t perfect. We have new teams and resources in place, and we are continuing to make improvements. But more are needed. The Oversight Board’s recommendations will be a big part of this continued work.

We have already implemented one of the board’s recommendations related to cross-check from a previous case by describing the system in our Transparency Center. Recently the board has expressed interest in looking more into our cross-check system. This referral goes beyond the briefing we have already provided. We are proactively asking the board for its input through a formal and transparent process.

Holding Facebook accountable for our content policies and processes is exactly why the Oversight Board was established. Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to brief the board on our cross-check system and engage with them to answer their questions. We welcome their recommendations and the independent oversight they provide. Per the bylaws, we will publicly respond to their recommendations within 30 days. 



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