Surprise! Facebook's Oversight Board Has Teeth

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The most important thing in tech today is …

the Facebook Oversight Board’s bold move calling out the company’s lack of transparency.

If you thought The Oversight Board was a powerless figurehead, well, think again. After the Wall Street Journal ran a piece showing Facebook’s inconsistent application of its rules, and Facebook issued its rebuttal, the Oversight Board weighed in and vaporized the essence of Facebook’s defense: that it’s balancing things pretty well under the circumstances.

From the Oversight Board: “These disclosures have drawn renewed attention to the seemingly inconsistent way that the company makes decisions, and why greater transparency and independent oversight of Facebook matter so much for users. … Since we published our first decisions in January, we have been shining a light on Facebook’s opaque rules and steering the company towards greater transparency.”

Though the Oversight Board isn’t in Facebook’s chain of command, it is using its influence to hold Facebook accountable and protect its own legitimacy with the public.

Coming up today on CNBC’s TechCheck, 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT …

Freshworks CEO Girish Mathrubootham, Squarespace CEO Anthony Casalena

While you were sleeping …

A U.S. government committee that reviews foreign investment in telecom is probing videoconferencing company Zoom’s $14.7 billion deal for cloud call center company Five9. AP

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler is making clear he is no fan of stablecoins, describing the increasingly popular cryptocurrency whose value is frequently pegged to the U.S. dollar as a danger to investors with questionable long-term viability. Washington Post

In the broader world …

After a Labor Day week lull, demand for mortgages rose sharply last week from homeowners and homebuyers. Total mortgage application volume was up nearly 5% for the week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. CNBC

On the horizon …

9/24: Ampere CEO Renee James in a Fortt Knox 1:1, 2 p.m. ET; Duolingo CEO Luis von Ahn in a Fortt Knox Update, 4:30 p.m. ET

I’m listening to …