Pamela Karlan, a law professor who had been sitting on Facebook’s Oversight Board, will be leaving the board to accept a position at Joe Biden’s Department of Justice.
“Working with my colleagues on the Oversight Board to build a fairer and more effective approach to content moderation has been an honor,” she said. “The Board has a critical role to play in holding Facebook to account, and I will continue to watch their work with great admiration.”
Critics of the Board have long said that it is not a meaningfully independent body, and they see this move by the Biden administration to welcome one of its members as essentially a payoff to Facebook for banning and silencing prominent conservatives and other dissidents—especially former President Donald Trump.
What Is the Facebook Oversight Board?
Facebook created the Oversight Board in 2019 to help the company make decisions about content moderation. Its website describes its mission as helping “Facebook answer some of the most difficult questions around freedom of expression online: what to take down, what to leave up, and why.”
Facebook has insisted that the Board is an independent body. However, critics point out that since Facebook itself created the Board and funds it, it’s difficult to see how that could be possible. Rather, these critics say, the Board’s true function may be simply to rubber-stamp Facebook’s prearranged decisions about what sort of content to keep and what sort of content to remove from its website. The Board would thus lend an appearance of fairness and legitimacy to the whole process.
Since it started accepting cases for consideration in October of 2020, the Board has received more than 180,000 requests. So far, it has adjudicated less than a dozen.
It is currently deciding whether or not to affirm Facebook’s decision to ban Donald Trump’s account.
Who Is Pamela Karlan and What Will She Be Doing?
Karlan is described as someone with “legal and civil rights expertise.” In 2019, she testified at Trump’s first impeachment trial. She has also admitted in the past that she “had to cross the street” to avoid walking by any of Trump’s hotels.
The New York Times once described her as a favorite potential left-wing Supreme Court pick.
She was also listed as a volunteer on Biden’s DOJ agency review team. She’ll now be joining Biden’s DOJ.
Even this brief look at her history is more than sufficient to demonstrate that she is incapable of genuine objectivity and that she’s simply a political hack who will do as she’s instructed by Biden or others in his cabinet.
As the left is now salivating at the prospect of persecuting Trump and his supporters—and the sheer ridiculousness of their justifications for doing so does not bother them—we can expect Pamela Karlan to have a role in that process.