Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg, in a tone-deaf opinion piece, encouraged America to spread not only its technologies but also its values, including “free expression.”
While the remarks are commendable, they are also ironic coming from an executive of a giant social media platform with a very poor record of respecting the freedom of speech.
“The US risks becoming a nation that exports incredible technologies, but fails to export its values,” Clegg wrote in the op-ed published on CNBC.
Clegg also offered a recommendation on how the US can regulate Big Tech platforms and spread American values around the world.
“By focusing on the areas where there is agreement on both sides, Congress can break the deadlock and create the most comprehensive internet legislation in a generation. In doing so, it can help to preserve the American values at the heart of the global internet.”
The Facebook exec rightfully condemned China’s massive internet censorship:
“The Chinese internet model — segregated from the wider internet and subject to extensive surveillance.”
He also noted Turkey, Vietnam and Russia, as countries that “have taken steps in a similar direction.”
Clegg continued to suggest that, “The open, accessible and global internet we use today has been shaped by American companies and American values like free expression, transparency, accountability and the encouragement of innovation and entrepreneurship. But these values can’t be taken for granted.”
Clegg’s piece was objectively commendable from a free speech stand point. However, it is hard to ignore the fact that he did not call out Big Tech platform’s for their continued disregard for freedom of speech. The company he works at, for example, repeatedly censored the former president and millions of other American, and has refused to reinstate Trump’s accounts.