A recent report from the New York Times claims that Facebook has been contacting academics in an effort to create a group to advise it on election-related decisions. It is expected that the Masters of the Universe will announce their election commission in advance of the 2022 midterm elections.
The New York Times reports in an article titled “Facebook Said to Consider Forming an Election Commission,” that social media giant Facebook has been approaching academics and policy experts in recent months about the prospect of forming a commission to advise the company on election-related matters.
The commission could help Facebook navigate a number of sensitive political topics and handle issues such as election-related “misinformation.” It is expected that Mark Zuckerberg’s company will announce the commission ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, though the plans are still preliminary and may not go ahead.
Facebook hopes the commission could help it avoid accusations of political bias, giving it a scapegoat to point to when accused of censorship or bias against a particular political group. In 2018, the Silicon Valley titan created the Facebook Oversight Board, which is a coalition of primarily left-wing legal, journalism, and policy experts who decide whether Facebook was correct to remove certain posts or accounts from its platforms.
The Oversight Board reviewed Facebook’s decision to suspend former President Donald Trump following the events of January 6 at the U.S. Capitol. Facebook banned Trump’s account indefinitely, which the Oversight Board ruled was “not appropriate.” Facebook reviewed its decision and stated that it would be banning Trump from the platform for at least two years, rather than simply saying “indefinitely.”
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Nathaniel Persily, a law professor at Stanford University commented on the formation of a new Facebook political board, stating: “There is already this perception that Facebook, an American social media company, is going in and tilting elections of other countries through its platform. Whatever decisions Facebook makes have global implications.”
Article by Pamela Geller
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