“We are completely convinced that it was the right thing to do in these extraordinary circumstances.” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice-president in charge of public affairs, testifies on franceinfo, Thursday, January 21, after the suspension of Donald Trump’s account on the social network. Twitter, Facebook, Google… One after the other, the Internet giants have silenced the former US president after riots by his supporters which invaded the Capitol for several hours.
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Applauded by some but criticized by others for this decision, Facebook has just seized its Supervisory Board, in order to decide the issue. A board recently put in place by Facebook itself, but presented as independent. “We can’t wait for lawmakers to do their job, we have to act in real time”, affirms on franceinfo Nick Clegg, the vice-president of Facebook in charge of public affairs.
franceinfo: Why did you approach the Supervisory Board?
Nick Clegg: We went to the Supervisory Board after permanently suspending Donald Trump’s access to Facebook and Instagram, not because we have doubts about this decision, because we are completely convinced as a company that it was the right one. something to do in these extraordinary circumstances, but because these are important decisions made by a private company affecting a political leader.
We cannot wait for lawmakers to do their job. We have to act in real time.Nick Clegg, Facebook vice president for public affairs
But what will you do if the board decides to reestablish Donald Trump’s Facebook account?
So I cannot speculate on what the Supervisory Board will decide. But, I can tell you that our beliefs and our intentions are not to lift the final ban.
Why didn’t you suspend Donald Trump’s account earlier?
All the companies that took action, not just Facebook but also Twitter, YouTube, Apple, Amazon, Google, all of these companies took unprecedented action because it was an unprecedented event. Whether we like Donald Trump or not, it is not the job of private companies to control what politicians can say to voters but this was an unprecedented situation due to the violence on Capitol Hill. I recall that five people died. And there were plans, apparently, to kidnap the Vice President of the United States. This is why there has been this unprecedented reaction from many tech companies because it was not a common situation.