An independent United Nations (UN) human rights expert on December 23 called for Facebook’s Oversight Board to enhance the consideration of the minorities before making rules over controversial content including hate speech online. Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues welcomed the recent move by the social media network’s Oversight Board for accepting its first six cases appealing against the decision to take content down from the platform. However, the independent UN expert also noted that it is the minorities that are most impacted by the hate content online and even said that it is “one of today’s most acute challenges to human dignity and life”.
Even though the UN expert raised concerns over the management of hate speech, he also hailed the Oversight Board. Fernand de Varennes called the board “innovative and ambitious” which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has compared to the social media platform’s own Supreme Court and a body that reviews the decision made by the platform for moderating content. The UN expert noted its role in regulating “hate speech” which is also important for the effective protection of all the vulnerable communities. As per the UN report, he also commended the fact that the Board consists of prominent experts that are devoted to human rights as well as freedom of expression. Fernand de Varennes even noted the efforts that the board has made in order to ensure the impartiality.