Facebook approaches academics, policy experts to advise on global elections

The New York Times reported Wednesday that Facebook Inc. has approached academics and policy experts to form a commission for advising the company on issues related to global elections, citing five people with knowledge of the matter. 

The proposed “election commission” would decide on matters such as political ads, their viability, and concerns around election-related misinformation, the report stated. 

An announcement regarding the commission is expected to come this fall in preparation for the 2022 US midterm elections. The report, however, cautioned that the efforts were preliminary and could still fall apart. 

Facebook so far has declined to comment on the matter. 

In recent years, social media companies have struggled with handling world leaders and politicians who violate site’s rules and guidelines. 

The proposed election commission is not the first time Facebook has used external groups to aid the company with its decisions. 

In 2018, Facebook had created the “Oversight Board”, a panel that consisted of former politicians, academics, and policy experts to rule whether Facebook is right to remove certain content from its platform. 

In May 2021, the board endorsed Facebook’s suspension of former US President Donald Trump but had added that the company was wrong to make the ban indefinite.