Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan acknowledged Facebook has nearly three billion users, but she still wants it to have an "Executive Editor" to punish and censor the "misinformation" that is harming our democracy. The fact that Facebook's new Oversight Board has only two out of twenty members who are conservative does not seem to impress Sullivan.
Sullivan asserted in her Friday column, "Facebook has a huge truth problem. A high-priced ‘oversight board’ won’t fix it." That "truth problem" starts with allowing Donald Trump to be elected.
[I]t seemed clear that Facebook needed some intelligent and powerful judgment at the top, because so many truly awful things were happening there....
Somehow, I didn't think that founder Mark Zuckerberg was up to the task.
Remember, for instance, this blithe judgment of his about the 2016 presidential election: "Personally I think the idea that fake news on Facebook, which is a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way - I think is a pretty crazy idea."
But conventional wisdom now holds that without Facebook's help spreading misinformation, Trump probably would not be in office.
And anyone even a bit familiar with Margaret Sullivan knows that her extreme Trump Derangement Syndrome would definitely cause her to absurdly blame Facebook for the election of Trump which would be more than enough to send her into a rage against Big Tech.
Sullivan's censorious urges can't be satisfied by mere humans, because she believes they don't have the capacity to crack down enough on conservatives getting to post and share their "misinformation." Sullivan explains why a mere Oversight Board isn't an efficient enough censor, although she loves the left-wing dignitaries:
Facebook last week announced the formation of a 20-member “oversight board.” The panel will rule on difficult content issues, such as whether specific Facebook or Instagram posts constitute hate speech. Some of its rulings will be binding; other will be considered “guidance.”
It’s being called Facebook’s Supreme Court. And its members certainly are an impressive group. There’s a former Nobel Peace Prize laureate (Tawakkol Karman of Yemen). The former prime minister of Denmark (Helle Thorning-Schmidt). And the former editor in chief of the Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom (Alan Rusbridger).
The rest of them aren’t too shabby either.
Except for those two, count them, TWO conservatives. Right, Margaret?
If gold-plated résumés were the answer, we’d be all set. But as one of the top technology critics in the country, Recode co-founder Kara Swisher, put it recently, they’ve been charged with the impossible — “trying to push back the ocean with one hand.”
To this, I’d add some other concerns. Anyone who has ever served on a committee, especially a large one or one populated with big egos, knows that it’s not an ideal way to get things done.
With rare exceptions, the committee format is unwieldy and inefficient, long on lofty discussions, short on definitive action. And certainly not a proven way to cut through a vast amount of information, take on the thorniest of problems and make hugely important decisions on issues that constantly arise in real time.
The good news for Sullivan is that Facebook has just announced that it is using an AI free speech Terminator to perform the censorship tasks more effectively than humans. Skynet is your friend, Margaret.