Nick Clegg, former British deputy prime minister and chair of the antisemitic left-leaning Liberal Democrats party in the UK, is partly behind Facebook’s crackdown on free speech. Clegg has been fingered as the driving force behind the ban on President Donald Trump and others. The story was reported in the New York Times.
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.
The board has also been under intense criticism for its inclusion of radicals and left-leaning individuals while having few, if any individuals with a conservative viewpoint.
Among its “diverse group” Facebook has enlisted to direct speech guidelines is Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Tawakkol Karman.
As reported in Metro Voice, when Karman won the 2011 Nobel Peace prize for her “role in Arab spring protests,” the Muslim Brotherhood’s website, Ikhwanweb, released a statement on Twitter identifying her as a “Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood member,” sparking widespread speculation and criticism about her connection to the group.
The Muslim Brotherhood is one of the leading proponents of sharia law and is known for oppressing women and minorities.
And while Karman gives Facebook representation within the Muslim Brotherhood, Clegg it is seen as protecting Facebook from European and American efforts to reign in the tech giant.
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’s push for banning Trump was criticized by world leaders including Angela Merkel of Germany.
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.
This week, 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 refused to comment on the Times profile.
–Metro Voice World Israel News Service