- The Washington Times - Monday, February 8, 2021

A founding member of Facebook’s oversight board responsible for impartially adjudicating enforcement and government issues has quit the board to join the Biden administration.

Pamela Karlan, a Stanford University law professor who testified to Congress in support of the first impeachment charges against former President Trump, is going to work in President 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,” Ms. Karlan said in a statement on Saturday, the board confirmed on Monday. “The Board has a critical role to play in holding Facebook to account, and I will continue to watch their work with great admiration.”

Facebook revealed the first members of its oversight board last year with the charge of making final decisions on whether to allow specific content on Facebook’s platforms. While the board is organized as a limited liability company separate from Facebook, it operates with a $130 million trust from Facebook.

Ms. Karlan’s inclusion on the board last year rankled Mr. Trump’s 2020 campaign who questioned the board’s ability to make fair decisions regarding U.S. election content. Facebook subsequently banned Mr. Trump indefinitely, which is a decision the board is reviewing.

“Pam Karlan’s legal and civil rights expertise played an important part in shaping the Board and we’re grateful for her contributions,” John Taylor, oversight board spokesperson, said in a statement. “The Trustees and Board members congratulate Pam on her new role and wish her the very best.”

Facebook’s oversight board issued its first decisions last month but has not completed reviewing the ban of Mr. Trump. Facebook executive Nick Clegg tweeted last month that his fellow Facebook executives “hope & expect” the board will affirm the company’s ban of the then-sitting U.S. president.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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