The not-so-supreme court is unlikely to solve Facebook’s or the world’s real problems.

Facebook logos are displayed on the screen of the smartphones.
Facebook logos are displayed on the screen of the smartphones.
“The Oversight Board was created to help Facebook answer some of the most difficult questions around freedom of expression online” (Photo by Alexandra Popova / Shutterstock.com)

It has become obvious to everybody except apparently Facebook that not all engagement is good engagement. The company knows that its automated recommendations contribute significantly to the growing divide and extremism in the US, but their singular focus on maximizing user engagement means they’re not likely to do anything about it except around the edges. Enter the new Facebook Oversight Board. Last month Facebook expanded the board’s very limited scope to now allow it to weigh in on decisions to leave up content that potentially violates community guidelines.

I’ll have more to say about the board shortly. But first, it’s…

Big Policy Shift in Content Enforcement for Big Tech

I n the ongoing conversation about what can and cannot be said on the Internet, the big question remains “who gets to decide?” While some people have celebrated Facebook and Twitter’s recent steps to ramp up their moderation of fringe groups and conspiracy theories, others view their moves as censoring conservative voices on their platforms. Following the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Twitter purged more than 70,000 accounts that were “engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale” according to the Twitter company blog.

The violent assault on the Capitol has triggered an inflection point. The idea of…

Advances in AI bring benefits, risks, and unintended consequences. The more powerful the technology, the greater the risks it can pose.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is now in wide use, intersecting with our lives in ways we may not even be aware of — from simple pattern recognition to tasks that require complex planning, prediction, and reasoning. Although AI has done amazing and useful things, the increase in its deployment has revealed its double-edged nature: Every technology, from fire and nuclear power to social networks, brings both good and bad as well as unexpected consequences. The more powerful the technology, the greater the risks it can pose.

The conversation about both real and imagined harms from AI runs the gamut from unfair…

Kyle Dent

Kyle Dent is the head of AI and Ethics at CheckStep. He writes about technology and society.

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