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Facebook to name first oversight panel members by year-end

BOSTON — Facebook says it expects to name the first members of a quasi-independent oversight board by year-end. The board will rule on thorny content issues, such as when a Facebook or Instagram post constitutes hate speech.

The panel will be able to make binding rulings on whether posts or ads violate the company’s standards.

Critics call the oversight board a bid by Facebook to forestall regulation or even an eventual breakup. The company faces antitrust investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, Congress and a group of state attorneys general.

Company officials say the board will eventually comprise 40 members, who will decide a few dozen cases a year. It will at first hear only cases initiated by Facebook. Next year, they say, it will begin hearing appeals initiated by users.

Frank Bajak, The Associated Press