Facebook hires Nick Clegg, British politician who annihilated his own party, as new global affairs chief

Nick Clegg's leadership of the UK's Liberal Democrats brought it briefly into the halls of power only to be destroyed by political incompetence and ambitious indifference. He started out commanding a quarter of the popular vote in a three-party system and left it with just 8 MPs, marginalized for a generation. Let's hope he can do the same thing for Facebook as their Head of Global Affairs.

Facebook has hired Nick Clegg, the former UK deputy prime minister, to head its global affairs and communications team as it faces escalating problems over data protection and the threat of greater government regulation.

Mr Clegg, 51, will move to Silicon Valley in January to succeed Elliot Schrage, who announced he would leave Facebook after 10 years in June.

His recruitment will be as much of a surprise to the British political establishment as it will be to Silicon Valley, where few European politicians enjoy a high profile in the insular tech industry.

"Months of wooing by Mark Zuckerberg," the Financial Times says, but you may recall this recent licking of the boot from Clegg, who just last month called criticism of Facebook "outright Luddism."

Mark Zuckerberg et al are regularly criticised for not doing enough to stop fake news and extremism, and doing too much to mine our data for the benefit of advertisers, but a threat to the continued existence of humankind? Hardly. ... It’s time we pause for breath before everyone charges off in a stampede of condemnation of tax-dodging-fake-news-extremism-promoting-data-controlling tech firms. The unthinking mood of hostility could soon topple into outright Luddism against new forms of technology. Already Artificial Intelligence – the evolving science of self-learning computer systems – is being widely characterised as a threat to our way of life, rather than an enhancement to human wellbeing. Just as society is encountering the early potential of a new technological revolution, many people are condemning it before it has even started.

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