“The company has created a board that can overrule even Mark Zuckerberg. Soon it will decide whether to allow Trump back on Facebook.”
“On a morning in May, 2019, forty-three lawyers, academics, and media experts gathered in the windowless basement of the NoMad New York hotel for a private meeting. The room was laid out a bit like a technologist’s wedding, with a nametag and an iPad at each seat, and large succulents as centerpieces. There were also party favors: Facebook-branded notebooks and pens. The company had convened the group to discuss the Oversight Board, a sort of private Supreme Court that it was creating to help govern speech on its platforms. The participants had all signed nondisclosure agreements. I sneaked in late and settled near the front. “Clap if you can hear me,” the moderator, a woman dressed in a black jumpsuit, said.”
“…Board members found out that they were getting the case only a half hour before the public did. Members eagerly watched the board’s internal Web site to see if they had been selected for the panel. They will now have two more months to deliberate it. Civil-society groups like the Center for Democracy & Technology and R Street, a conservative think tank, are submitting comments on the case—the equivalent of filing amicus briefs—arguing for or against Trump’s reinstatement. Trump has the opportunity to submit a brief arguing why he should be reinstated. “The board’s Trump decision may affect the liberties and, yes, lives of hundreds of millions,” Samples told me. “Few U.S. Supreme Court cases ever hold such potential for good or for ill.” Ronaldo Lemos, a board member and law professor in Rio de Janeiro, told me that he believes the board has a lot of work ahead. “The Oversight Board is not going away anytime soon,” he said. “We’re not going anywhere.”
I shared my thoughts on the piece in the tweets below.