Joe Biden’s transition team has hired top Facebook executive Jessica Hertz as its general counsel to oversee ethical issues, as the campaign tussles with the social media giant to get them to censor Trump’s posts, according to a report.
This will be the second hire by team Biden of a former Big Tech executive, following Carlos Monje, Twitter’s director of public policy brought on as co-chair of the transition team’s infrastructure policy committee.
Biden hiring Hertz, who worked on government relations with Facebook, has sparked fury on the left.
She will be responsible for “enforcement, oversight, and compliance” of the ethics plan the Biden transition team unveiled on Wednesday.
It intends to follow the guidelines former President Barack Obama instituted to restrict the role of lobbyists in the administration.
“The ultimate arbiter for ethics for the Biden transition was a senior regulatory official for Facebook up until a few months ago, at a time when progressives and the Biden campaign are fighting against the right-wing agenda of Facebook,” Jeff Hauser, the director of the liberal Revolving Door Project, told Politico.
“Please make it clear that I think the Trump administration is insanely corrupt and I’m not equating the two, but this is deeply disappointing,” he said.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which supports Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also wasn’t pleased.
“Biden-Harris ethics rules should go as far or further than the Obama-Biden administration in banning corporate lobbyists, officers, or agents with conflicting loyalties from serving in the next Administration,” spokeswoman Caitlin Lang told Politico.
“These ethics rules unfortunately are not as strong as the Obama administration’s and do not come close to rebuilding trust in government or meeting this moment,” she continued.
The early criticism could be a prelude to future disagreements between the center and the left over the makeup of the Biden administration if the former vice president is elected in November, the report said.
Earlier this week, the Biden campaign wrote a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pushing him to regulate Trump’s postings and accused the company of spreading disinformation.
“Millions of people are voting. Meanwhile, your platform is the nation’s foremost propagator of disinformation about the voting process,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon wrote.
“Rather than seeing progress, we have seen regression.”