Meet Meta’s Latest Board Member: A Billionaire and Censorship Fanatic

March 1st, 2024 4:30 PM

Meta appears to be committing even more deeply to censorship with its new board member.

Meta — the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — just elected Texas hedge fund manager John Arnold to its board of directors, according to X posts from Meta and Arnold. This is concerning news for free speech advocates, as Arnold’s LLC has reportedly donated millions of dollars to entities aiming to censor alleged “disinformation and misinformation” online.

“I look forward to being a part of Meta’s board, and to contributing my insights as we work together in our collective responsibility to Meta’s users and the wider community,” Arnold said in a Feb. 14 press release. In the same release, Meta described Arnold as a co-founder of several entities, including Arnold Ventures, but omitted his anti-misinformation funding.

The Washington Examiner reported back in 2022 that Arnold Ventures donated the hefty sum of $13.7 million to five groups aiming to help suppress “disinformation” online. The Examiner highlighted that Arnold gave $500,000 to the international non-profit Global Witness in 2020. This group asserts that “[t]he reality of the climate crisis is an undeniable truth” and demanded that Big Tech take action to target “disinformation” or climate content contradicting their own opinions.

The Examiner added that Arnold also gave nearly $10 million to the American Journalism Project (AJP). In a February 2021 blog, AJP mourned the decreasing trust in legacy media and approvingly cited efforts to “combat misinformation” about COVID-19. AJP also partnered with Racial Equity in Journalism Fund, a financier of leftist media. Social Science Research Council, another Arnold money recipient, reportedly oversaw projects to support biased “misinformation” research, per the Examiner.

Arnold’s new role at Meta could have implications for upcoming elections, too. In 2019, citing “criticism of Facebook's role in democracy & the elections,” Arnold described a project he partly funded to examine how “social media spreads false info & increases polarization.” He claimed the project had to be terminated because Facebook wouldn’t provide sufficient data. 

“This project would have offered an unprecedented insight into how social media spreads disinformation and divides countries,” Arnold lamented at the time. “I am tremendously disappointed this project was unable to be completed and can only hope there are opportunities to do something similar in the future.” Has Arnold finally gotten his chance as part of Meta’s board?

Arnold’s entrance to the Meta board comes just after the social media giant announced its election-interfering censorship in the European Union. Meta President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg accidentally admitted on CNBC News that most of the company’s employees are involved in censorship activities.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact Facebook headquarters at (650) 308-7300 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “misinformation” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.