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Thursday 18 June 2020

Nick Clegg - FB Users Don’t Believe You

A figure from the political past hove into view this week, and almost as soon as he had spoken, it could be seen that he had gained none of his former abilities: Nick Clegg, now supposedly a fixer for the disturbingly weird Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, came among the mere humans on the planet to reassure them that the tech platform would not be used by bad faith actors to manipulate future elections.
Moreover, Clegg was given due reverence, the media recognising his recently awarded knighthood; this may not have been for “taking a credible political party and all but destroying it in not much more than five years”. But what Corporal Clegg was not given was the benefit of the doubt: almost as his reassuring comment piece for the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph was being published, protests were building.

As the Guardian has reported, “When it comes to less forthright attempts to influence the vote, Facebook hopes its moderation team will help. Since 2016, the company says, it has tripled the number of people working on ‘security and safety issues’. The company’s experience of ‘more than 200 elections since 2017’ will also help, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice-president for global affairs and communications, wrote in … the Telegraph”.

But he wasn’t prepared to address recent false claims by Combover Crybaby Donald Trump: where Twitter took action, Facebook didn’t. As the Guardian put it, “Many of the company’s employees believed the president’s message to be inciting violence, a decision that Clegg refused to directly support on Wednesday”. And reassurances on moderation?

Not working, as The Wrap reported yesterday. “Civil Rights Groups Call for Facebook Ad Boycott … The tech giant is once again being ripped for its moderation policies … Several civil rights groups, including the The Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP, are calling for an advertising boycott of Facebook on Wednesday, claiming the tech giant isn’t doing enough to weed out misinformation and ‘hate speech.’” There was more.
The campaign launched with a full page ad in the Los Angeles Times. In it, the groups accuse CEO Mark Zuckerberg of allowing extremists to promote violence … [and] not taking action against President Trump’s recent comments on mail-in ballots, unlike Twitter … On top of that, the groups claim Facebook isn’t doing enough to ‘protect’ its black and Jewish users from vile comments”. For Clegg, the groups’ conclusion was a grim one.

The campaign also calls for Facebook to make a number of changes, including removing all ads it deems misinformation or hateful … ‘Let’s send Facebook a powerful message: Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence’ the ad continued”. Not removing misinformation - not removing electoral interference.

Facebook’s commitment to free speech appears to extend to not only allowing the likes of Trump to lie, but also to allow the lies to extend to political advertising. Clegg claims anything from foreign state actors will be banned, but by the time FB has traced a supposedly US based campaign group back to another country, it will be too late.

Facebook’s user base believes Nick Clegg. Like the UK electorate did in 2015.
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1 comment:

grim northerner said...

Clegg is such a non-entity that no-one on here can even be arsed to slate him!