Facebook has announced the first 20 members of its Oversight Board – a board that gets to make the final call on whether to delete “controversial” content from the platform.
The Oversight Board operates independently of Facebook and when it was announced last year, many saw it as an attempt by Facebook to show that it's impartial when making content moderation decisions.
But shortly after these Oversight Board members were announced, commentators and lawyers started raising concerns over the bias and propensity towards censorship of some of the members.
Conservative commentator Mark Dice noted that one of the Oversight Board members, Alan Rusbridger, a former editor of the left-wing newspaper The Guardian, has called for President Trump's press conferences to be censored for “spreading disinformation.”
Preston Byrne, a partner at the Anderson Kill law firm also raised concerns over another member of the Oversight Board, Helle Throning-Schmidt, who is a former Prime Minister of Denmark for the left-wing Social Democrat party.
Byrne noted that Denmark's hate speech laws ban speech that is constitutionally protected in the USA.
Dice also documented the left-wing bias of Throning-Schmidt and several other Oversight Board members.
Dice noted that just a few weeks ago, Throning-Schmidt tweeted out praise for former President Obama and wrote “miss the voice of decency and grace.”
In addition to this, Dice highlighted anti-Trump tweets and rants from several of the other Oversight Board members including:
- Professor Pamela S. Karlan who infamously made President Trump's son Barron the butt of a joke during the impeachment hearing and also worked in the civil rights division of President Obama's Justice Department
- Lawyer and activist Nighat Dad who tweeted: “God forbid if Trump becomes the president, this will be my last visit to US”
- Dwight Professor of Law at Columbia Law School Jamal Greene who accused President Trump of aligning himself with “toadies and criminals”
This woman is on Facebook's new "independent" @OversightBoard and will decide who to ban, and what content gets censored for "hate speech." pic.twitter.com/FfumKJ3xtL
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) May 6, 2020