Nick Clegg Press Release Shows Facebook is Unfit to Police its Platform

Statement from the Real Facebook Oversight Board

The following statement for attribution is from the Real Facebook Oversight Board in response to Sir Nick Clegg’s statement, The Real Story of What Happened with News on Facebook in Australia:

“The real ‘real story’ here is that Facebook has spectacularly overplayed its hand in Australia, revealing itself to an entire continent as a bully. Facebook couldn’t even do that right — in shutting off news, the company also shut down women’s shelters, non-profits, charities, the police, public health sites and a major COVID public health campaign. And yet, we are expected to trust Facebook to police its platform for misinformation during a global pandemic.

Facebook’s gambit in Australia was never about protecting journalism or small business. It was about preserving Facebook’s monopoly. Clegg can gaslight all he wants, but ultimately Facebook panicked in the face of a policy they feared could spur the EU and US to take similar action and saw an opportunity to test their power relative to an actual democratically elected government. They almost won, which should scare us all.

Clegg says at the end of his press release, somehow without irony, that “the internet needs new rules that work for everyone, not just for big media corporations.” We agree. And we call on everyone who wants to protect journalism and free speech to fight for real oversight and regulation of Facebook, now.”

Interviews available with Real Facebook Oversight Board members.

An emergency response to the ongoing harms on Facebook’s platforms from leading global scholars, experts and advocates.

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