Accountability in Transnational Private Regulation: The Case of Meta’s Oversight Board

The overarching theme for this seminar with Lee A. Bygrave is the ongoing tension between private autonomy in the running of digital networks and efforts to enhance the accountability of the governance mechanisms in play.

A particularly high-profile example of such efforts is Meta’s establishment of the Oversight Board in 2020. The Board is tasked with reviewing Meta’s moderation of content on Facebook and Instagram. The creation of the Board has been greeted with praise and scepticism: some commentators see the Board as an innovative and worthwhile bootstrapping process for enhancing Meta’s accountability; others see it as a largely symbolic move devoid of any significant practical effect on Meta’s content moderation practices.

Three years into the life of the Board, what are its strengths and weaknesses? And what lessons of more general import may we draw from its operations? These are some of the questions explored in the seminar.

📖 Lee A. Bygrave (2023). "The Predilection for Contract in Governing Digital Networks: Micro-Management’s Face Off with Accountability" forthcoming in D Clifford et al. (ed), Data Rights and Private Law (Hart Publishing, 2023).

Lee A. Bygrave is full professor at the Department of Private Law, University of Oslo, where he is Director of the Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law (NRCCL). He is additionally an honorary professor at the College of Law, Australian National University, and an academic affiliate of the Centre for Health, Law and Emerging Technologies at the University of Oxford. Lee has been engaged in pioneering research and development of regulatory policy for information and communication technology for over three decades, with special expertise on legal aspects of data privacy, cybersecurity and governance of internet infrastructure.


Please register no later than 5 June 2023 at 12:00 using this registration form.