New York Post, Editorial Board
The Facebook Oversight Board — a 20-member independent panel that will rule on which posts can be blocked as false or as hate speech or harassment — is a recipe for left-wing censorship.
Sure, there are a few token conservatives, such as Stanford Law prof Michael McConnell. But even he is potentially compromised, since his firm (Wilson Sonsini) represents much of the Silicon Valley corporate elite.
And the majority are clearly prone to view truth through a left-wing lens. Alan Rusbridger, for example, won fame in his days as editor-in-chief of the lefty UK paper The Guardian by publishing the government secrets stolen by Edward Snowden. But he’s a massive fan of silencing dissent from the right of the spectrum.
Then there’s the other Stanford Law professor: Pamela Karlan, whose chief claim to fame is testifying in favor of the rush to impeach President Trump at Rep. Jerry Nadler’s hearings last year. Another law prof, Columbia’s Jamal Greene, served as an aide to Sen. Kamala Harris for the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.
Tellingly, Wired reports that insiders said getting liberals for the board was fairly easy “since human rights activists generally shade liberal” — revealing a horrific blindness about the difference between activism in the fuzzy human-rights field and a genuine commitment to free speech.
The real purpose of the board is to get Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook execs out of the no-win position of being responsible for what speech they ban. It outsources censorship. The panel will initially only take up appeals of Facebook’s decisions to block content, but is eventually supposed to start deleting on its own.
At The Post, we know Facebook makes mistakes: It took us weeks to get the company to reverse its blockage of Steven Mosher’s opinion column suggesting that the coronavirus might have escaped from that Wuhan lab. It’s an official government investigation now, but back then Facebook determined it wasn’t a topic you were allowed to discuss.
We have less confidence that this “court” will make fairer decisions or be anything more than thought police.