Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg was the chief architect behind Facebook’s Oversight Board and provided justification for the platform banning Donald Trump.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
A former British deputy prime minister has been the driving force behind Facebook’s policies towards the suspension of former President Donald Trump’s account, a report from the New York Times revealed on Wednesday.
Nick Clegg, who was once the chair of the left-leaning Liberal Democrats party in the UK and served in parliament for more than a decade, worked closely with former Prime Minister David Cameron.
According to the Times, Clegg “developed the main justification used by [Mark] Zuckerberg for barring Trump,” and was the chief architect of Facebook’s Oversight Board.
When Facebook banned Trump, CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a justification for the decision on his page. But according to the Times, it was Clegg who actually wrote the statement.
Clegg joined Facebook in 2018 as vice-president of global affairs, in what was essentially a public relations move by the industry titan. At the time Facebook recruited Clegg, the platform’s reputation had been sullied by the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other reports of flagrant privacy violations.
During an internal company meeting discussing whether Trump’s ban should be reviewed by an advisory board, the company turned to Clegg as a guide.
“I defer to you, Nick,” Zuckerberg reportedly said.
On Wednesday, the panel upheld the social media giant’s ban on Trump, which was issued in January 2021 after the Capitol Hill riots.
The ban, which bars Trump from posting on Facebook or Instagram, was originally indefinite. The Board has stated Facebook should revisit the possibility of un-banning Trump in another six months’ time.
A British politician slammed Clegg for his involvement with Facebook, suggesting that his presence lends legitimacy to an organization operating under murky ethos.
“‘Are you sure you’re on the right side here?’ That is the question that will get thrown back at Clegg,” Damian Collins, a British MP who has led investigations into social media in politics, told the Times. “He’s taken a lot of money to go work for a company that doesn’t meet the highest ethical standards.”
Clegg declined to comment on the Times profile.