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‘Post’ senior editor Endy Bayuni appointed to Facebook Oversight Board

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, May 7, 2020  /  04:02 pm
‘Post’ senior editor Endy Bayuni appointed to Facebook Oversight Board

Endy M. Bayuni, senior editor of 'The Jakarta Post'. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Endy M. Bayuni, senior editor of The Jakarta Post and former editor in chief, has been appointed the first Indonesian member of the newly established Facebook Oversight Board.

Endy will join 19 other board members from 16 countries, including journalists, former judges, and human rights activists. The board has been described as Facebook’s “supreme court” and will be responsible for reviewing Facebook and Instagram content decisions and making “binding decisions based on respect for freedom of expression and human rights”.

“I’m a Facebook user, and while I see the benefits of the platform, I also see big issues related to content,” Endy told the Post on Thursday. “On the one hand, we have to protect freedom of speech, but we cannot let free speech lead to harassment or violence. I hope that as part of the Oversight Board I can help to address this balance.”

Endy said he was selected because of his background in journalism. He hoped to bring a journalistic perspective on the freedom of expression and human rights alongside the two other journalists on the board.

“We at The Jakarta Post have always been on the front lines in pushing for greater free speech in Indonesia and the wider Asian region,” he said.

Endy is a member of the Post’s board and served as its editor-in-chief for two separate terms: from 2004 to 2010 and 2016 to 2018. He also co-founded the International Association of Religion Journalists in 2012 and currently serves as its executive director.

Read also: Facebook reveals members of its 'supreme court' for content

Press Council inter-institutional and international relations commission head Agus Sudibyo praised the appointment, saying that he hoped Endy could represent the 151 million Facebook users and 59.8 million Instagram users in Indonesia.

“This is something special for Endy and Indonesia,” Agus told the Post on Tuesday. “His concern for public space and democratic freedom of speech is high, and I think his appointment is appropriate.”

He also expressed his hope that the appointment would lead to a more responsible and accountable social media space in Indonesia, from both the users and the platform providers.

Facebook public policy director Brent Harris described the creation of the board, which was initially proposed in 2018 by Facebook co-founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg, as the "beginning of a fundamental change in the way some of the most difficult content decisions on Facebook will be made."

The board will review appeals from users whose content has been removed by Facebook as well requests for Facebook to remove content.

Board members are independent of Facebook, and the board’s operations are supported by a newly established, irrevocable US$130 million trust fund that is also independent of Facebook.

Harris said Facebook would implement all of the board’s decisions – which would be made public – as long as they did not violate the law.

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