Meta’s Oversight Board and transnational hybrid adjudication – What consequences for international law?

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Abstract

Meta, formerly the Facebook Company, faces immense pressure from users, governments, and civil society to act transparently and with accountability. Responding to such calls, in 2018, it announced plans to create an independent oversight body to review content decisions. Such a forum is now in place in the form of the Oversight Board. To Meta’s credit, the speed at which the Oversight Board has been established is remarkable. Within two years, a global consultation process was completed with input obtained from users as well as experts, the regulatory infrastructure for the Oversight Board built, its members selected, and the first decisions of the Board already rendered in January 2021. With its institutional structure in place, and plenty of resources to tap into, the Oversight Board could have a real effect on how some transnational disputes are resolved. Thus, the Oversight Board may very well be setting the direction for how tech companies in particular, and multinational corporations in general, go about providing grievance mechanisms to individuals who their actions adversely affect. Through a study of the Oversight Board, this article considers whether we are witnessing the birth of a special type of “transnational hybrid adjudication” that could have a systemic impact on international law, or an experiment with limited relevance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-493
Number of pages21
JournalGerman Law Journal
Volume24
Issue number3
Early online date22 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Meta Oversight Board
  • Transnational dispute resolution
  • access to justice
  • business and human rights
  • digitalization

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