Professor Evelyn Aswad Appointed to Oversight Board to Review Content Decisions by Facebook and Instagram

May 6, 2020
Professor Evelyn Aswad

Contact: Rachel Egli
Director of Events and
Continuing Legal Education
Office: (405) 325-2011

NORMAN — Professor Evelyn Aswad, Herman G. Kaiser Chair at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, has been appointed to the newly created Oversight Board, which will review certain content decisions by Facebook and Instagram. The board will make binding decisions on selected content matters as well as submit recommendations on platform policies.

The Oversight Board is composed of 20 independent members from around the world. The other members include law professors from Stanford and Columbia, individuals with journalism backgrounds, former high-ranking government officials and judges, and leaders from civil society.  In its work, the board will consider freedom of expression protections within the framework of international human rights principles.

“Professor Aswad's profound accomplishments within the field of human rights cannot be overstated,” said OU Law Interim Dean Katheleen Guzman, “making her appointment to this extraordinary group of thought leaders both remarkable and unsurprising. OU Law is proud that one of our own will engage in the essential work of determining how best to moderate speech in today’s digital landscape.”

Aswad’s expertise is in international human rights law and global corporate responsibility standards, with a focus on speech standards. She has written a number of articles advocating that social media companies use universal human rights protections in their content moderation decisions. She also teaches a Human Rights Practicum on comparative freedom of expression issues and a course on International Business and Human Rights. In addition, she is the director of the College of Law’s Center for International Business and Human Rights. Prior to joining the OU Law faculty in 2013, Aswad was the director of the human rights law office at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC.

“The Oversight Board is an innovation in platform governance, and I hope it will bring some much needed outside oxygen and expertise into the often mysterious world of corporate content moderation,” said Professor Aswad. “I’m really looking forward to working with experts from around the world to try tackle some of the most consequential issues involving online speech.”

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