Some of the same board members also saw this.
“Practically the only units I trust will have less government than companies,” Mr. McConnell said.
For others, the idea of global corporations becoming de facto governments is dystopian – and the board’s promise reflects low expectations for democratic governance. “No board, whether corporate or ‘independent,’ can or should replace Parliament,” said Dutch politician Marrietz Schaeke, who is a “genuine” board member. “Both the storm of panic reactions from the Capitol and social media companies have taken a deep hold on the public debate and public safety of uncontrolled power social media companies. The balance and weight of rights and interests lie with democratically legitimate decision makers. There should be accountability beyond self-regulation. “
Mr Clegg, a former British political leader who is now a top Zuckerberg deputy, accepted the criticism, but said he had no choice yet.
“Everyone is making a fair point when they say, ‘I am uneasy about this display of private corporate power on the public realm.” It strikes the raw veins the most. But, he said, the company cannot wait for democracy and hold laws and norms around Facebook’s behavior.
“Those criteria don’t exist, and in the meantime we can’t miss making decisions in real time,” he said.
Executives on other platforms remain skeptical, and show no signs of jumping on the rider. And the board of Tucker Carlson of Fox News (“an exceptionally outspoken ethicist,” Mr. Clegg said) would have to abandon American domestic politics, under pressure from an anti-corporate left and populist right. And Mr. Clegg said he hoped the board would find a way to directly involve its five American members in the decision. “Some bespoke arrangements so that they can provide special input and insight into this decision.” But there is no clear mechanism in favor of Americans, and relations between the board and real-world politics are already getting complicated. A prominent member, Stanford law professor Pam Karlen, has recused himself to help with the Biden transition, an Oversight Board official said.
The board’s decision in the Trump case – before the end of April – has obvious implications here in the United States, but it could set company policy in other large democracies, as with Brazil, with leaders of the new right-wing populist ilk. , India and the Philippines. For them too, Facebook is a major source of power, and they are now preparing Palo Alto for battle. Trump ban “a dangerous precedent,” an official in India’s ruling party Tweeted. In Brazil, like the United States, conservatives have begun to move their followers to Telegram, a messaging service.