Facebook Oversight: Now British MP joins protest against appointment of Brotherhood sympathizer

Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 Tawakkol Karman

The much talked about Facebook’s Oversight Board has run into controversy for appointing a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer.

British Member of Parliament Ian Paisley has criticized the move to appoint Tawakkol Karman to the oversight board and termed it as “unbelievable.”

Karman is associated with Al-Islah Party in Yemen, which is affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood. Her induction into Facebook’s oversight board, meant to manage content on the popular social media platform, has drawn global criticism.

The 41 –year-old journalist and human rights activist won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. Karman is the first woman from Arab world to win the prize.

Paisley criticizing the move said that Karman is not “fit” for the position meant to ensure more transparency in the social media platform.

The British MP has written to the California-based platform about Karman’s appointment, and separately, demanded an investigation by the British Department of Culture, Media and Sports. The parliamentarian expects that the department might launch an investigation by July. 

Paisley added that the social media platform should not wait for any investigation, and the right’s activist should be dropped immediately.

Facebook early May announced the names of members of the oversight board that is meant to s control what kind of content can be posted by Facebook and Instagram users.The committee will be “independent” and have the power to overwrite Facebook management decisions on content. Other than Karman, the board has a former prime minister of Denmark, and many constitutional law experts and rights activists. Her appointment has drawn criticism from Egypt and other Arab countries.

According to media reports, Egyptian activists have called for boycotting Facebook following Karman’s appointment. The activists fear that Karman’s induction will affect supervision over content by Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers. She is known for her “opposition” to governments in Egypt, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.Karman has been vocal for women’s rights and their participation in Yemen’s peace process.  

Karman, who came into limelight during the Arab Spring in 2011, has been an outspoken critique about Saudi-UAE’s role in the Yemeni civil war. The ongoing civil war in Yemen, she was forced to leave the country. She is now Istanbul based.

Social media users in the Arab countries have been using hashtag #RefuseTawakulKarman to protest against activist inclusion.

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