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Facebook fact-checking under microscope as peers quiz former Guardian editor

Monday 1 March 2021

Facebook’s independent Oversight Board – which decides what the digital platform takes down and leaves up - goes under the microscope when former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger answers questions from the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee tomorrow (Tuesday 2 March from 3.00 p.m.) as it continues its inquiry into freedom of expression online.

The committee will hear from Mr Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of The Guardian and a member of the Facebook Oversight Board, and from an academic who has written extensively about the board. Peers will hear also from legal experts about competition in social media and search engine markets.

Witnesses are:

At 3.00 p.m.

  • Alan Rusbridger, Member, Facebook Oversight Board
  • Dr Kate Klonick, Assistant Professor of Law, School of Law, St John's University

Likely questions and topics of discussion include:

  • Does the Oversight Board have sufficient power and independence to succeed?
  • Is large-scale automated content moderation compatible with freedom of expression?
  • How do platforms’ business models shape their approach to freedom of expression?
  • Is there sufficient oversight of the algorithms platforms use to curate content?

At 4.00 p.m.

  • Professor Damien Geradin, Founding Partner, Geradin Partners
  • Dr Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, Senior Research Fellow in Competition Law and Director, Competition Law Forum, British Institute of International and Comparative Law

Likely questions and topics of discussion include:

  • Would increasing competition in the social media and search engine markets enhance users’ freedom of expression and other human rights?
  • How well has the Competition and Markets Authority addressed digital competition issues?
  • How well do the social media and search engine markets function?
  • How should the Digital Markets Unit increase competition in the social media market?

The session will be live on Parliament TV.

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