Verdict: Facebook’s “Oversight Board” Is An Unethical Farce

kangaroos jury

From the Boston Globe this morning: “The social network’s quasi-independent Oversight Board voted to uphold [Donald Trump’s] ban from the platform after his account was suspended four months ago for inciting violence that led to the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.”

That tells you all you need to know about the fairness of any such decision involving any organization with “media” in its description. Let’s see:

  • What—THE HELL—is a “quasi-independent” board? Is it independent, or isn’t it? Oh, it’s “kind of” independent, is it? Right. It’s not independent then, and no decision by any body that allows itself to be used in corporate deceit like that can be trusted. Gautam Hans, a technology law and free speech expert and professor at Vanderbilt University, commented that “If any other company decided, well, we’re just going to outsource our decision-making to some quasi-independent body, that would be thought of as ridiculous.”

Yes, that’s because it is ridiculous, for Facebook or “any other company.”

  • President Trump was banned for “inciting violence” when any objective analysis of his words and what happened shows that he did nothing of the kind.
  • The gratuitous use of “deadly” is more of the news media’s attempt to bias public perceptions of the event to Trump’s detriment.

The CYA board—I think that’s a fair description—then said, contradicting itself, “It was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension,” although the board is allowing the penalty to stand. It gave Facebook (of which, remember, it is quasi-independent! Don’t forget that! ) six more months to reexamine the “arbitrary penalty” it imposed on January 7, and then decide on another penalty that reflects the “gravity of the violation and the prospect of future harm.”

Then, I presume, the quasi independent board will examine that penalty as to whether it is “clear, necessary and proportionate.” Next, Facebook will presumably have another six months to “re-examine” that.

I’m fascinated by the question of how many Americans out there read this double-talk, and think, “Makes sense to me!”

Yeah, I’m pretty sure Facebook can drag this out at least to the 2022 mid-terms, and if you don’t think that’s the agenda here, I have a perpetual motion machine I can sell you at a bargain price.

It doesn’t take six months to decide whether censoring a sitting President of the United States is a strike at democracy and political discourse. I’m timing myself now—-hmmmmm—yup, it is. Ok, that was .8 seconds.

How stupid and gullible does Facebook think the public is? How stupid and gullible do Facebook’s allies in the mainstream media think the public is, to report this whitewash by a “semi-independent” board as if it wasn’t a self-evident cover-up?

How stupid and gullible is the public?

5 thoughts on “Verdict: Facebook’s “Oversight Board” Is An Unethical Farce

  1. My dear sir, Facebook knows the public is at least lazy if not profoundly stupid. Too lazy to care is what Facebook is betting on, and a “we’ll revisit this in six months” is a sharp reflection of American’s “never do today what you can put off until tomorrow” thinking about hard problems.

    My take: Safe bet by Facebook. I can hear 150 million yawns from here…

  2. How stupid and gullible is the public? I would guess 80%. It’s the old 80/20 rule – 80% of the people will believe while 20% will challenge. Democracy in action. Plurality wins the day.

    Gullibility is a function of the amount of confirmation bias one has. If you want to agree with the outcome you will. If you don’t agree you won’t.

    The best way to expose the double speak is to ask if people will accept a quasi-independent body to investigate police misconduct. Unfortunately, you may have to explain what quasi means.

    • The 80/20 rule has always served me well. I think it may be a kind of innate human mathematical relationship, recognized but poorly understood.

      I think your point is well-made.

  3. Has anyone asked Facebook how this independent board makes its decisions. What rules must it abide by? Do the affected parties have an opportunity to rebut or challenge the evidence presented? Who determines what evidence may be presented and by what standard is a given statement determined to be in violation of the rules? By what measure do they use to establish “gravity of the violation and the prospect of future harm” and is the negative impact disproportionately administered against certain races, genders, or sexual orientations.

  4. If something is that good a farce, can it really be unethical? After all, isn’t being competent an ethical imperative?


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