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Facebook hires former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg as its head of global affairs and communications

Facebook has hired former deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg as its head of global affairs and communications.

The 51-year-old will move into his new California office in January 2019, according to the Financial Times (who broke the story).

His appointment comes as the social media giant deals with the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and alleged data breaches.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg are understood to have spent a lot of time with Nick Clegg in the build-up to him taking on the role.

In a Facebook post, Clegg described it as an “exciting new adventure for me” after almost 20 years in European and British politics.

“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 journey which brings 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 helping to navigate that journey.

“Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Oculus and Instagram are at the heart of so many people’s everyday lives – but also at the heart of some of the most complex and difficult questions we face as a society: the privacy of the individual, the integrity of our democratic process, the tensions between local cultures and the global internet, the balance between free speech and prohibited content, the power and concerns around artificial intelligence, and the wellbeing of our children.

“I believe that Facebook must continue to play a role in finding answers to those questions – not by acting alone in Silicon Valley, but by working with people, organisations, governments and regulators around the world to ensure that technology is a force for good.”

Sandberg said Clegg was a “thoughtful and gifted leader who has served as a Member of the European Parliament, a British MP and Deputy Prime Minister of the UK, and understands deeply the responsibilities we have to people who use our service around the world”.

Over the past year, Clegg has repeatedly taken shots at the press for its coverage of Facebook and other major tech firms.

In a 2017 column for inews, he wrote: “Other critics of Silicon Valley are just plain disingenuous: traditional newspaper groups vilify social media companies for scooping up the lion’s share of advertising revenue.

“What do they expect? Social media companies – notwithstanding their occasionally pious New Age slogans – are profit-making companies, not charities.

“There’s something faintly absurd about old predatory crocodiles like Rupert Murdoch, who has spent a lifetime remorselessly suffocating lesser rivals, whingeing plaintively about how beastly the new kids on the block are to him.”

Campaign Live reported Clegg told last year’s Adtech London event that print media had “an ulterior motive to discredit social media because of its success in attracting online advertising revenues that otherwise might be spent on newspapers”.

Press Gazette asked Facebook if Clegg still held those views on the media, but did not receive a response.

Starting next Monday, Clegg will replace Elliot Schrage, who is staying on as an adviser after ten years in the head of global affairs job.

Clegg lost his seat in the House of Commons at the last general election, having served in the coalition government from 2010 to 2015.

Picture: Reuters/Hannah McKay

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4 thoughts on “Facebook hires former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg as its head of global affairs and communications”

  1. nick i was banned for a week from facebook for writing the following in reply to someone claiming (a) no one intelligent votes leave and (b) non white leave voters are ‘ethnic traitors’. tvhobo will naturally publish this fact to the world in the longrun. you are a joke clegg. wherever you are. this is what facebook tells me i was banned for writing:

    Without a doubt one of the most intelligent white men of my generation I have met in years, interestingly ex British army, with programming skills – clearly extremely good ones, employed by one of the biggest companies in the world as a programmer, but currently working in his preferred profession as plumber – and this guy, his wife is European and a remain voter, and he is without a doubt someone whom YOU, reader, would desperately want in your home if your boiler and plumbing were fucked or even not fucked. Because most of the people you will deal with are incompetent or thieving or both. Usually both. Extensive evidence can back this claim, but now’s not the right time. However my point is that given how likely you are to be screwed over and basically lied to, a man like this one – brilliant intelligence, sharp, honest, on the case as you would most want – he’s also a leave voter. and you’d be lost without him. many people are saved from cowboys and much evil by him. Unlike me I don’t see him changing his position. A lot of soldiers are the same – they blame Brussels for allowing the USA to control us – rightly or wrongly – I mean Chomsky clearly feels that Brexit will make Britain’s lapdoghood more pronounced not less.

    Generalising about leave (or remain) voters is silly. The evidence mounts everywhere. However in lieu of facing up to that, I suggest you find someone to blame and blame them forthwith.

    in fact one reason why most non white working class people i know vote leave is the same reason the white builders and plumbers say they vote leave – it has a direct impact on their income and life – cheap eu labour has destroyed their industry and made it a nightmare

    it’s worth noting that. and once you understand it you’ll get out of your neoliberal and middle class denial, whatever your so-called ‘race’. one thing’s for sure – no ‘race’ label you give yourself can put you on equal footing, intellectually, with the most advanced individuals of our species.

  2. Mark Zuck, Nick Clegg, GOTCHA .

    I went to facebook again and it gave me the message that I have been banned for a week.

    THIS post which follows is deemed unacceptable by Facebook, whose acceptability dept is headed by Nick Clegg: <>

    It was a reply to an indian woman claiming that anyone voting leave was an ‘ethnic traitor’.

    I guess that makes Tony Benn a man who hates non white people.

    Anyway, Clegg. There it is, on the record. TWICE now. You’re shit ain’t ya mate?

    CAN ANYONE tell me ANYTHING immoral or wrong about writing this:

    <>

    Whereas to accuse anyone who says that of being immoral – surely that IS immoral, Clegg? Eh?

    what i wrote was also in response to the allegation that nobody intelligent votes leave.

    in attacking that claim I was the one banned and labelled antisocial.

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