A powerful player on Facebook’s new content oversight board infamously mocked Barron Trump during last year’s impeachment hearings, sowing doubt in the social media platform’s promises of unbiased moderation.
The selection of Pamela Karlan, a professor at Stanford Law School, was announced Wednesday by Facebook, according to CNBC.
Karlan will sit alongside 19 other experts and professionals on a board created by the social media giant to help police content.
“It is our ambition and goal that Facebook not decide elections, not be a force for one point of view over another, but the same rules will apply to people of left, right and center,” Michael McConnell, one of the board’s co-chairs, told reporters, according to CNBC.
The group will review content and appeals from users to Facebook, making final decisions as to what type of material is allowed on the platform.
A Facebook official confirmed that board decisions would be respected by the company, unless the rulings “violate the law.”
It may be hard to believe those on the political right will get a fair shake however, especially since Karlan made headlines by mocking Barron Trump during the impeachment attempt on his father, President Donald Trump.
To make matters worse, the televised insult didn’t bring condemnation from Democrats, but laughter.
Responding to a question from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee about Trump’s supposed ambitions of becoming a king, the professor, who previously admitted a deep-seated hatred of the president, took the opportunity to childishly mock Barron’s name.
“I’ll just give you one example,” Karlan then said, “that shows you the difference between him and a king, which is, the Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility.
“So while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron.”
The response had Lee and several others in the room chuckling.
It seems the professor should be the last person Facebook would consider for an unbiased position, especially one with so much authority over users.
For the social media platform, this is only going to cause more concerns about bias, a problem the company’s leadership has been fighting for years.
The board comes as the latest iteration of Facebook’s attempts to control, moderate and police its network.
Before, the company relied on internal measures, contractors and disastrous relationships with fact-checkers.
Although Facebook’s new moderation board has yet to be thoroughly tested in the real world, the building bias does not appear to be a win for conservatives.
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