Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. Facebook seeks to give people a voice so we can connect, share ideas and experiences, and understand each other.
Free expression is paramount, but there are times when speech can be at odds with authenticity, safety, privacy, and dignity. Some expression can endanger other people's ability to express themselves freely. Therefore, it must be balanced against these considerations.
In light of this balance, internet services have a responsibility to set standards for what is and is not acceptable to share on their platforms. Those standards should protect people and their expression, and any limits should be based on specific values that companies have the responsibility to articulate. To ensure fair decision-making based on standards and values, internet services can establish bodies designed to oversee important matters of expression and to make independent final decisions.
The purpose of this charter is to establish the framework for creating such an institution: the Oversight Board. The purpose of the board is to protect free expression by making principled, independent decisions about important pieces of content and by issuing policy advisory opinions on Facebook's content policies. The board will operate transparently and its reasoning will be explained clearly to the public, while respecting the privacy and confidentiality of the people who use Facebook, Inc.’s services, including Instagram (collectively referred to as "Facebook"). It will provide an accessible opportunity for people to request its review and be heard.
This charter specifies the board's authority, scope and procedures, including how Facebook and the people registered to use its services (from here, referred to just as "people") can access the board. It provides for the creation of an independent, irrevocable trust with trustees who will follow the guidelines stated in this charter when supporting the board. The board's bylaws will specify the operational procedures of the board.