Nick Clegg joining Facebook is the ‘WTF?’ news of the week

Former UK deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has joined Facebook as the new head of the social network’s global affairs and communications team.

The former leader of the Liberal Democrats, who was deputy PM as part of a disastrous coalition with David Cameron’s conservative government, will relocate to Facebook’s Menlo Park HQ in California as part of the role.

Clegg joins a company in deep crisis over a number of public scandals pertaining to use privacy breaches, election meddling and the proliferation of fake news.

In a statement, the former Lib Dem leader said “Having spoken at length to Mark [CEO Mark Zuckerberg] and Sheryl [COO Sandberg] 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.”

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Presumably, with a job title like vice-president of global affairs and communications, he’ll be charged with combating some of those prevalent issues facing Facebook and presenting the public response. Given his connections it’d be folly to suggest Clegg won’t be heavily involved in political lobbying efforts on Facebook’s behalf.

Given Facebook is facing the spectre of government regulation as a result of their recent missteps, Clegg could also head Facebook’s efforts to resist political interference.

Sandberg, in a Facebook post, believes Clegg will offer the company “new perspectives to help us through this time of change.”

She praised Clegg as 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.”

Sheryl Sandberg

I’m excited to announce that Nick Clegg is joining Facebook as VP, Global Affairs and Communications. He is a thoughtful and gifted leader who has served as a Member of the European Parliament, a…

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