Loss of face for Facebook for naming Brotherhood figure to oversight board

May 09, 2020
Tawakkol Karman.
Tawakkol Karman.

Saudi Gazette report

LONDON — The inclusion of controversial Yemeni Nobel Prize winner Tawakkol Karman in the list of Facebook's first 20 oversight board members is both surprising and shocking for many in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Karman, who is known for her affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood and her ultra radical views, is not only a bad choice but her very presence in the board defeats the purpose for which it has been created.

Facebook has set up the board for influencing "content moderation guidelines" as it has been under intense scrutiny over its privacy and discriminatory practices. It has also faced a lot of criticism for failing to check the proliferation of extremist ideologies on its platform.

Announcing the constitution of the board on Wednesday, Facebood said: "The Oversight Board is an external body that members of our community can appeal to on some of the most significant and challenging content decisions we face."

But by choosing Karman for playing an influential role, Facebook has miserably failed in recognizing the fact the Muslim Brotherhood ideology is primarily responsible for extremist activities in the Muslim world.

She is a leading figure of Yemen's Islah Party, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by a number of countries in the Middle East and other countries. Its terrorist links are under investigation in several Western nations. A number of Al-Qaeda leaders have initially been active with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Kamran’s selection was received with confusion and derision by many social media users in the region as the Yemeni writer is more known for her activism and divisive stances than for public service commitment.

Experts have also expressed their disbelief and disgust over the choice. They say it will add to suspicions about the social media body's political leanings and is unlikely to enhance the company's credibility in the Arab world.

May 09, 2020
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