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Meta’s Oversight Board will now hear appeals from Threads users, too

Meta’s Oversight Board is expanding its purview to include Threads. The group announced that Threads users will now be able to appeal Meta’s content moderation decisions, giving the independent group the ability to influence policies for Meta’s newest app.

It’s a notable expansion for the Oversight Board, which up until now has weighed in on content moderation issues related to Facebook and Instagram posts. “Having independent accountability early on for a new app such as Threads is vitally important.,” board co-chair Helle Thorning-Schmidt said in a statement.

According to the Oversight Board, user appeals on Threads will function similarly to how they do on Instagram and Facebook. When users have “exhausted” Meta’s internal process, they’ll be able to request a review from the Oversight Board. Under the rules established when the board was formed, Meta is required to implement the board’s decisions regarding specific posts, but isn’t obligated to adhere to its policy recommendations.

Adding Threads’ content moderation to the board’s scope underscores the growing influence of the Twitter-like app that launched last summer. Threads has already grown to 130 million users and Mark Zuckerberg that it could one day reach a billion users.

Officially, Threads has the same rules as Instagram. But Meta has already encountered some pushback from users over its policies for recommending content. Threads currently search terms related to COVID-19 and other “potentially sensitive” topics. The company also raised some eyebrows when it said last week that it wouldn’t recommend accounts that post too much unless users choose to opt-in to such suggestions.

Regardless of whether the board ends up weighing in on those choices, it will likely be some time before Threads users see any changes as the result of the board’s recommendations. The Oversight Board only accepts a tiny fraction of user appeals, and it can take several weeks or months for the group to make a decision, and many more months for Meta to change any of its rules as a result of the guidance. (The board can, in some cases, the process.)

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