How should a company with 2.8 billion users, 59,000 employees and millions of advertisers across the globe handle tricky content moderation decisions, especially when they involve such issues as free speech, powerful leaders and political violence?

Facebook’s answer is the Oversight Board, a quasi-independent panel that reviews decisions to remove a post or a comment. In its latest and biggest case, the board upheld a ban on former President Trump but criticized the company for not following its own rules by either making the suspension permanent or setting a time limit. It gave Facebook six months to review the decision, meaning Trump may still one day be back on the platform.

Corporate governance scholar Siri Terjesen explains why Facebook created the board, how it’s ruled so far and why other companies are unlikely to follow its lead.

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Bryan Keogh

Senior Editor, Economy + Business

Facebook’s new Oversight Board affirmed the social media network’s ban on Donald Trump. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

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Siri Terjesen, Florida Atlantic University

The social media giant's third-party review panel upheld Facebook's ban on Donald Trump. A corporate governance expert explains why Facebook created the Oversight Board.

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