Some board members see it that way too.
“Virtually the only companies I trust less than companies would be the government,” said McConnell.
For others, the idea of global corporations becoming de facto governments is dystopian – and the board’s promise reflects low expectations of democratic governance. “No board, whether corporate or” independent “, can or should replace a parliament,” said Marietje Schaake, a Dutch politician who is a member of the “real” board. “Both the storming of the Capitol and the panic reactions from social media companies have exposed the depth of uncontrolled power social media companies have over public debate and public safety. The weighing and weighing of rights and interests belongs to democratically legitimate decision-makers. There needs to be accountability beyond self-regulation. “
Mr Clegg, a former British political leader who is now a senior member of Zuckerberg’s MP, acknowledged the criticism but said he saw no alternative at the moment.
“Everyone makes a reasonable point when they say, ‘I am concerned about this portrayal of private corporation power over public space.’ It hits the roughest of nerves, ”he said, but he said the company can’t wait for democracy to catch up and implement laws and norms regarding Facebook’s behavior.
“These norms don’t exist and we can’t make real-time decisions in the meantime,” he said.
Executives on other platforms remain skeptical and show no signs of jumping on board. And the board must weather American domestic politics under pressure from an anti-corporation left and a populist right, embodied by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson (“an extraordinarily articulate polemicist,” Clegg said). And Mr Clegg said he hoped the board would find a way to involve its five American members directly in this decision “Some tailor-made arrangements so that you can give special input and insight into this decision.” But there is no clear mechanism for American preference, and the links between the board of directors and real world politics are already becoming complicated. A prominent member, Stanford law professor Pam Karlan, has stepped back to help with the Biden transition, an Oversight Board official said.
The board’s decision on Trump – due before the end of April – has obvious ramifications here in the United States, but it could also shape the company’s policies in other major democracies with leaders of the same new right-wing populist type such as Brazil, India and the Philippines . For them too, Facebook is an important source of strength, and they are now looking carefully at Palo Alto. The Trump ban is “a dangerous precedent,” tweeted an Indian ruling party official. In Brazil, as in the United States, conservatives have begun to switch their followers to Telegram, an intelligence service.