A Ghanaian human rights lawyer and Programme Manager, Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei, has been appointed Board Member of the New Global Independent ‘Oversight Board’ for Facebook and Instagram Content.
She joins two other Africans – Julie Owono, a digital rights advocate and Executive Director of Internet Sans Frontières from Cameroon and Maina Kiai, a human rights activist and Director of Human Rights Watch’s Global Alliances and Partnerships programme from Kenya on the 20-member Oversight Board.
The Oversight Board is expected to tackle increasingly complex and contentious debates about what types of content should and should not be permitted on Facebook and Instagram and who should decide.
The Board will prioritise cases that potentially impact many users, are of critical importance to public discourse, or raise questions about Facebook’s policies.
Decisions made by the Board must be implemented by Facebook, as long as they do not violate the law. Oversight Board Members are independent of the company, funded by an independent trust and cannot be removed by Facebook based on their decisions.
“The very act of creating this Board shows Facebook has taken the criticism levelled against it seriously and I hope my membership can help address some of these criticisms. I am particularly focused on the Board’s role in improving transparency and accountability, and creating an appeal process where people can bring their content issues. I feel strongly that the Board needs to be truly representative, not just in terms of geography, but age, subject matter and breadth of issues covered as well,” Afia Asantewaa Asare-Kyei said.
She will work in collaboration with 19 other members who speak over 27 languages and have diverse professional, cultural, political, and religious backgrounds and viewpoints.
Over time, the Board will grow to around 40 members.