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Noah Feldman, the Harvard Law School professor who served as one of the anti-Trump witnesses at the Democrats’ impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, reportedly has a key role in Facebook’s planned establishment of a content advisory board, commonly known as the “Facebook Supreme Court.”
Among other functions, the oversight board will review cases from banned Facebook users who claim that their accounts were terminated without cause. The body is ostensibly meant to give banned users a form of appeal, although it will not be a legally binding court.
Moreover, Facebook could shut down its “Supreme Court” at any time.
In a report by Facebook, the tech giant’s global affairs vice president said the board would not solve every issue:
To be clear: the Oversight Board will not solve all of Facebook’s problems. For example, the Board is not designed to hear decisions about News Feed ranking or artificial intelligence, although these are pressing and important issues. We believe that the best way to set the Board up for success is to focus it specifically on content governance. This, in itself, is a complex and difficult issue — one which requires external input from highly qualified experts.
The report states that Feldman was the one who first proposed the idea of the Facebook Supreme Court in 2018:
Against this backdrop, in early 2018, Noah Feldman developed two white papers in early 2018 on internet governance, in which he proposed a “Supreme Court.” He argued that this body would respond to the need for an independent decision-making process based on a formal commitment to freedom of expression. This new entity would be designed to operate on top of Facebook’s existing policy development, content review, and internal appeals processes. In that regard, it would aim to “provide opportunity for refinement of arguments and ideas in difficult cases … create a greater sense of openness, revisability, and participation … [and] conserve resources … for truly unusual and difficult cases.”
The idea resonated with Facebook, who brought Feldman on as an advisor and asked him to produce a white paper on the idea.
“For me it is an exciting opportunity to be able to work closely with a social media platform that has more than 2.3 billion users to try to implement an institution that will work for protecting freedom of expression,” Feldman told Harvard Law Today about his role with Facebook.
“Facebook is undertaking a really bold experiment in borrowing an institution from public law and trying to apply it to the private sector and to social media and the internet,” he added.
During his testimony on Wednesday, Feldman concurred with the other two Democrat-selected witnesses that President Trump committed impeachable offenses by allegedly having a quid pro quo with the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden in exchange for providing the European country with vital military aid.
Feldman had previously, however, written an op-ed entitled “It’s hard to take impeachment seriously now,” a fact he acknowledged when questioned by Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).
Other previously written articles by Feldman pointing to his anti-Trump stance include “Trump’s Wiretap Tweets Raise Risk of Impeachment” and “Mar-a-Lago Ad Belongs in Impeachment File.”
Last month, Facebook joined YouTube in purging all mentions of Eric Ciaramella, the CIA analyst and former National Security Council staffer reported to be the “whistleblower” whose complaint led to the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
“Any mention of the potential whistleblower’s name violates our coordinating harm policy, which prohibits content ‘outing of witness, informant, or activist,’” said a Facebook spokesperson. “We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower’s name and will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in debate.”
The social-media network has been accused of censoring conservative voices. The platform has banned a number of right-wing figures from outside the conservative mainstream, such as Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer, and Paul Joseph Watson.
The New American was slapped with a “hate speech” violation earlier this year over a post promoting its “Immigration Invasion” edition.
Facebook’s Community Standards define “hate speech” as “a direct attack on people based on what [Facebook] call[s] protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disease or disability.”
Can users trust Facebook to run a court of any kind?
Luis Miguel is a writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.