Facebook has confirmed it has hired the former captain of the UK’s onetime third highest political party — Nick Clegg of the middle ground Liberal Democrats — to head up global policy and comms.
The news was reported earlier by the Financial Times.
— Financial Times (@ FinancialTimes) October 19, 2018
Clegg is another former UK deputy prime minister, after the Lib Dems entered government in the 2015 bloc with the Conservative party.
Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch that Clegg’s title will be VP, global affairs and communications, and that he starts on Monday — and will be moving with their own families to California in the New Year.
Its prior world plan and communications premier, Elliot Schrage, who has been in announce for a decade is staying on as an advisor, according to Facebook, and in a announce announcing Clegg’s hire COO Sheryl Sandberg thanked Schrage for his” leadership, firmnes, and wise lawyer — in good times and bad “.
Facebook likewise told us that Sandberg and benefactor Mark Zuckerberg were both deeply involved in the hiring process, beginning discussions with Clegg over the summer — as fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data corruption scandal continued to rain down — and emphasizing they have already spent a great deal of time with him.< u > u>
The company also made a item of noting further that Clegg is the most senior European politician to ever take up a senior executive leadership character in Silicon Valley.
The hire certainly looks like large-hearted tech waking up to the fact it needs a far more tie-in with European lawmakers.
In a post on Facebook announcing his new responsibility, Clegg says as much, writing:” Having spoken at length to Mark and Sheryl over the last few months, I have been struck by their recognition that the company is on a outing which delivers new responsibilities not only to the users of Facebook’s apps but to society at large. I hope I will be able to play a role in is contributing to steer that jaunt .”
” Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Oculus and Instagram are at the heart of so many people’s everyday lives- but too at the heart of some of the most complex and difficult questions we face as a society: the privacy of the individual; the stability of our democratic process; the tensions between local cultures and the world-wide internet; a balanced approach between free speech and prohibited material; the influence and pertains around artificial intelligence; and the wellbeing of our children ,” he adds.
” I believe that Facebook must continue to play a role in acquiring answers to those questions- not by be alone in Silicon Valley, but by is collaborating with people, organisations, governments and regulators around the world to ensure that technology is a violence for good .”
In her note about Clegg’s hire, Sandberg lauds Clegg as” a pithy and skilled supervisor who … understands deeply the shared responsibility we have to people who squander our services around the world” — before also discussing the great challenge ahead.
” Our fellowship is on a critical excursion. The challenges we face are serious and clear and now now more than ever we need brand-new perspectives to help us though this time of change ,” she writes.” The openings are clear more. Every date parties use our apps to connect with family and working sidekicks and make a difference in their communities. If we can honor the rely they put in us and lives up to its own responsibilities, we can help more people use technology to do good.
” That’s what causes our squads and from all my conversations with Nick, it’s clear that he believes in this as well. His suffer and ability to work through complex question will be invaluable in the years ahead .”
One onetime Facebook policy staffer we spoke to for an insider perspective on Clegg’s hire, couched it as a signal Facebook is eventually making Europe dangerously — i.e. as a regulatory pressure with the ability to accompany large-scale tech to rule.
” When I started at fb there were two people in a Regus office doing EU policy ,” the person told us, speaking on condition of obscurity.” Now they have an infantry, and they’re still hiring .”
In Europe, the region’s new data protection fabric, GDPR, which came into force at the end of May, has put privacy and safety at the top of the tech agenda. And more regulations are coming — with the EU’s data protection supervisor warning today that GDPR is not enough.
” The Facebook/ Cambridge Analytica revealings are still under investigation in Europe and America, but they just the tip of the iceberg , a sign of a much more extensive trouble and a symptom of many more problems still unnoticed ,” writes Giovanni Buttarelli in a blog entitled: The urgent subject for a new ePrivacy constitution .
Reshaping regional powers to account for and rebalance monopolistic pulpit power is where EU lawmakers are increasingly turning their tending. It looks like Facebook has finally caught on that they’re serious.
” They didn’t take it gravely and they’re catching up now. I think it also only sends a strong signal that they’re not a U.S. centric firm ,” the onetime Facebooker added of the company’s demeanour to “Eus policies”, dating their dawning realization that a new coming was needed to around 2016.
That was also, of course, the year that domestic ballot interference came home to roost for Zuckerberg, after Kremlin meddling in the US general elections. And after his famous failure to judge that detail important.
So no more’ fucking crazy minds’ from Zuckerberg where politics is concerned — Nick Clegg instead.
For Brits, though, this actually is a pretty crazy idea, generated Clegg is the awkwardly familiar face of middle ground, middler rendition politics.
And, even more importantly, the sacrificial lamb of political accommodation, after his party get punished for its turn in bloc government with David Cameron’s Brexit triggering Conservatives.
Our ex-Facebooker source said they’d heard rumors relation the onetime Labour MP, David Miliband, and the Reactionary’ onetime chancellor, George Osborne, to the world plan position too.
Whatever the truth of those rumors, in the event Facebook disappeared with Clegg’s third course — which of course meshes perfectly with the company’s desire to be a stage for all ends; lies in the fact that conservative, radical and Holocaust denier too.
In Clegg it will have found a genuine devotee that compromise can trump adherent tribalism.
Though Facebook’s business will probably test the limits of even Clegg’s famed the competences of accommodation.
The current state of the Lib Dem political animal — a party with now really a handful of MPs( 12) left in the UK parliament — does too harbour a cautionary sense for Facebook’s mission to be all things to all men.
A target some less machiavellian kinds might guess’ operation impossible’.
Add to that, sacrificed Facebook’s now dire need to win back user cartel — i.e. in the wake of a fibre of data scandals, such as the Cambridge Analytica affair( and undoubtedly ongoing aims by unknown forces to use its platform for voter manipulation) — Clegg is rather an odd select of hire, imparted he’s the man who led a registered political party that fatally ignites the trust of its core allies and persuaded them to penalize it with near political obliteration at the ballet box.
Still, at least Clegg knows how to say sorry in a way that can be turned into a hip and shareable meme …