Meet the Brain Behind Facebook's Oversight Board
I want to tell you a story about a friend and a colleague of mine. His name is noah feldman one afternoon. Back in twenty. Eighteen noah was taking a bike ride in the hills around palo alto california. He was visiting from the east coast. The bike ride was a little break from seeing friends. And doing is meetings. But no is not your average mountain biker. He's a constitutional law professor at harvard and one of the country's best he even helped to draft iraq's interim constitution so as no was cranking around the hills of old honda road he was thinking about a company with its headquarters nearby. Maybe you can guess. He was thinking about facebook. I happen to be staying with my friend. Sheryl sandberg who. I went to college with her. And she's the co or facebook but not for anything to do with facebook. I was just out there and it was nice to see her. No was thinking a lot about the relationship between his field constitutional law and the struggle that platforms have keeping people safe online. Think about the social media companies the more they grow the more content their users post not all the content is going to be so nice and friendly and when you get more content. You're bound to get more hateful speech as well. It's just really hard to keep all the bad stuff off the platforms. It's always an uphill battle for these social media companies and not unlike the uphill battle that noah found himself on during his bike that it was much too hard for me. And i had that you know oxygen deprivation field that you get when you're trying to climb hills too hard for you and i was sort of in my mind and one part of that was trying to figure out how the social media companies were themselves dealing with the challenges. A free speech. It's not the question of how governments were dealing with them and free speech but how they were thinking about it internally no hyperventilating about to give and sure enough it worked and i had an idea and the idea that came into my mind was that facebook content moderation supreme court all day. Oh yea whoa. I wrote it up in a you know twelve or thirteen hundred word document. I thought maybe i can publish. It isn't bad and showed it to charlotte because she was my host and she said to me. Actually you know what before you go and publish this. Let me send it to mark and see what he thinks about it as it turned out facebook. Ceo mark sanford love. Noah's idea others were not so sure could affor- profit company bill. They court many people in an outside facebook dot. The whole idea was more than a little crazy. One of those people was knee.