Tech investor Jeffrey Wernick is the latest prominent voice to speak out against Facebook’s new “oversight board” that will have the power to control speech on the social media platform. Wernick has described the board as a form of “technofascism” and an affront to the First Amendment.
“Shame on Facebook. Shame on anyone who embraces this concept,” Wernick said in a statement released on Friday. “And shame on anyone who would agree to serve on this Committee. They are free speech frauds who want to control language and thought.”
He also accused Facebook of being a “data rapist” in an apparent reference to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the personal information of millions of Facebook users was used without their consent ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Facebook’s oversight board — also known as its “Supreme Court” — is expected to wield significant power over what can and cannot be said on the platform. But the 20-person group, which will operate semi-independently of Facebook, has already come under fire for being compromised largely of left-wing and anti-Trump figures.
The board includes Stanford University law professor Pamela Karlan, who earlier this year joked about President Trump’s then-13-year-old son Barron while she testified at the House impeachment hearings. Another member is Australian law professor Nicolas Suzor, who once tweeted that he “loved” an article comparing President Trump to Adolf Hitler.
Other members include a former aide to Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and three people who have documented ties to leftist billionaire George Soros.
A coalition of 60 conservative organizations and publishers recently called on Facebook to do away with its politically skewed oversight board. The coalition also warned that the board is stacked with individuals from other countries who may not uphold America’s First Amendment principles.
Jeffrey Wernick, who has invested in bitcoin technology and serves as a strategic advisor to the competing social network start-up Parler, is encouraging people to abandon Facebook.
“My proposed solution is for people to simply get off Facebook,” he said in his statement. “Facebook is an acknowledged data rapist who promotes digital assassinations of individuals and groups. And is now recruiting more people to further legitimize those practices. Do not be distracted by the window dressing. Shame everyone and anyone who is willing to serve on [the board] and practice technofascism.”
Other prominent figures to criticize Facebook’s oversight board include Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who has been a consistent voice against Silicon Valley overreach, and Brendan Carr, one of the four commissioners of the FCC.