F-DAY: Facebook Faces Day Of Reckoning, 17 News Organizations and Whistleblower Offer Devastating Evidence of Facebook’s Harms
Unaccountable “Hindsight Board” Fiddles While Rome Burns; RFOB Calls for Full, Independent Outside Audit and Investigation
25 October — The Real Facebook Oversight Board issued the following statement today about the publication of the “Facebook Papers” and Frances Haugen’s testimony to the UK Parliament -
“Today’s avalanche of leaks, revelations and reporting blasts apart Facebook’s spin that Frances Haugen was ‘cherry picking’ documents. Across 17 news organizations, dozens of journalists and thousands of documents, the Facebook Papers and Frances Haugen’s continued testimony have laid bare the extreme harm and devastating impacts of Facebook.
In breathtaking detail, the Facebook Papers show a company that is in the thrall of right-wing extremists, so afraid of looking ‘partisan’ that they welcome insurrectionists, racists and disinformation artists onto their platforms under the guise of free speech. Ignoring house on fire warnings from their own staff and lying to regulators and their own oversight board, we now see Facebook for what it really is: an international criminal enterprise.
The Facebook Papers also reveal the absolute inadequacy of Facebook’s Oversight Board, fiddling while Rome burns and begging the company to stop lying. As MP and RFOB member Damian Collins said today in Parliament, the “hindsight board” lacks the independence and mandate to hold Facebook accountable when it needs oversight the most. As new allegations cascade down around Facebook, the Oversight Board by design has no authority to intervene.
We reject the premise that the Facebook Oversight Board can ever be considered independent.
Instead, at this defining moment of crisis for Facebook and democracy, we call for a full, independent, outside investigation of Facebook and the allegations raised in the Facebook Files, The Facebook Papers and recent SEC filings. In the US, the UK and the EU, policymakers should fast track legislation to ensure permanent, independent oversight of Facebook. No criminal should appoint their own judge and jury, as Facebook has done with its Oversight Board.”
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Real Facebook Oversight Board members are available for interviews and comments. Statements do not reflect the individual positions of all Real Facebook Oversight Board Members. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.