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Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, told ABC's "This Week" that the company's oversight board is a solution where elected officials have abdicated.

Driving the news: Clegg defended the platform's two-year suspension of former President Donald Trump, after recent criticism from Trump about the company's right to censor or silence free speech.

  • Asked to address calls to break up Facebook to diminish the company's power over public political speech, Clegg said, "My own view, for what it's worth, is the answer is not break up — the answer is regulation."
  • "American democracy does not belong to Silicon Valley, it belongs to the American people and the people who should set the rules for how American democracy plays out," he added.
  • Clegg clarified that the company's new policies on public figures regulate the incitement of violence, not lies.
"In the absence of regulation, in the absence of consensus from lawmakers on where we should draw the line, we have tried our best. ... [I]t's the first of its kind anywhere. No other Silicon Valley company has done this — this independent oversight board to hold us to independent account.
But all of that, I agree, is an inadequate surrogate for what in the long run we need, which is societal rules set by democratic process — by lawmakers, not by private companies."
— Nick Clegg

Go deeper: Facebook sets Trump ban at two years in response to Oversight Board ruling

Go deeper

Facebook pleases no one with Trump decision

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Facebook's decision to ban former President Trump for another two years is drawing ire from both sides of the aisle, showing that the tech giant can't please anyone until the former president is either permanently banned or allowed back on the platform.

Why it matters: These decisions will only become more polarizing as platforms reckon with free speech issues from world leaders around the world.

WHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries

Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization regional director for Africa. Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The World Health Organization called on countries Sunday to not impose travel bans on southern African nations amid concerns over the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The U.S. and countries in Europe and the Asia-Pacific announced travel restrictions in response to Omicron, which was first detected in South Africa. It's since spread to several European countries, Canada, Israel, Australia and Hong Kong. The WHO noted in a statement that only two southern African nations have detected the new variant.

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.