Facebook Employees Asked Zuckerberg If They Should Try to Prevent Trump Presidency
Facebook employees used a company poll to ask Zuckerberg if Facebook should try to prevent a Donald Trump presidency.
This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared to publicly denounce the political positions of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign during the keynote speech of the company’s annual F8 developer conference.
“I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as ‘others,’” Zuckerberg said, never referring to Trump by name. “I hear them calling for blocking free expression, for slowing immigration, for reducing trade, and in some cases, even for cutting access to the internet.”
For a developer’s conference, the comments were unprecedented—a signal that the 31-year-old billionaire is quite willing to publicly mix politics and business. Zuckerberg has donated to campaigns in the past, but has been vague about which candidates he and his company’s political action committee support.
Inside Facebook, the political discussion has been more explicit. Last month, some Facebook employees used a company poll to ask Zuckerberg whether the company should try “to help prevent President Trump in 2017.”
Every week, Facebook employees vote in an internal poll on what they want to ask Zuckerberg in an upcoming Q&A session. A question from the March 4 poll was: “What responsibility does Facebook have to help prevent President Trump in 2017?”
A screenshot of the poll, given to Gizmodo, shows the question as the fifth most popular.
It’s not particularly surprising the question was asked, or that some Facebook employees are anti-Trump. The question and Zuckerberg’s statements on Tuesday align with the consensus politics of Silicon Valley: pro-immigration, pro-trade, pro-expansion of the internet.
But what’s exceedingly important about this question being raised—and Zuckerberg’s answer, if there is one—is how Facebook now treats the powerful place it holds in the world. It’s unprecedented. More than 1.04 billion people use Facebook. It’s where we get our news, share our political views, and interact with politicians. It’s also where those politicians are spending a greater share of their budgets.