Bloomberg Law
Jan. 11, 2021, 7:16 PM

Facebook Taps Obama-Era Official to Lead Civil Rights Oversight

Naomi Nix
Naomi Nix
Bloomberg News

Facebook Inc. said it has hired Roy Austin, a former Justice Department official under President Barack Obama, to oversee its civil rights strategy following criticism of the company’s practices from racial justice groups.

Austin served as a deputy assistant attorney general in the civil rights division between 2010 and 2014 and on Obama’s Domestic Policy Council from 2014 to 2017. He will establish a small team to oversee the company’s civil rights accountability efforts, according to Facebook.

Roy Austin
Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Austin will report to Facebook General Counsel Jen Newstead, the company said.

Facebook’s announcement follows criticism from civil rights groups that the social media giant isn’t doing enough to curb misinformation, hate speech and discriminatory content on its platform.

--With assistance from Kurt Wagner.

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