Facebook – and other social networks – are once again at the center of the controversy after the blocking of the accounts of the still president of the United States, Donald Trump, after the events that occurred in Washington last week and the messages inciting the violence.
Roy Austin, Facebook’s new Vice President for Human Rights, is a prominent lawyer who served the Obama administration
What some see as a reduction in freedom of expression, others consider that it is a consequence of not having complied with the rules of use of private companies, which is what social networks are basically.
Be that as it may, the debate is served and it puts Facebook and other social networks such as Twitter, Snapchat or Twitch, which also blocked the president of the United States, and companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon, in the eye of the hurricane, for blocking applications like Parler, where thousands of his followers gathered, who have rushed to find other alternative apps.
In this context, Facebook has rushed to create a new position in its structure, that of the Vice President of Human Rights. It is the first time that the company has held this position, and to fill it it has hired Roy Austin, Wiltshire & Grannis human rights lawyer and a collaborator of Barack Obama in his years at the helm of the White House.
Austin has confirmed that it will be next Tuesday, January 19, when he begins his work at Facebook, and that it will be located in the company’s office in Washington. “Technology plays a fundamental role in our lives and it is important that it is used without hatred and discrimination against minority groups, rather than that it serves to exacerbate it,” he said, justifying why he joins Facebook at this time. “I could not pass up the opportunity to join a company whose products are used by billions of people and which affect both their human rights and freedom,” he said.
At the moment, it is not very clear what the specific functions of the manager will be beyond the general objective, but they will be clarified possibly after his incorporation during the next week. Be that as it may, the signing is still significant because it occurs at the time it occurs.