Mr. Zuckerberg Goes To Washington To Establish The Facebook Party?
There's been rumblings that the world's largest social network just might want to start using it's membership clout to affect change in government, or at least support the candidates that have their best interest at heart. With over 1 billion followers, the house that Zuckerberg built is indeed the size of a prominent sovereign state, second only to China and India.
But which side of the aisle does the Facebook Party favor? While COO Sheryl Sandberg "Lean(s) In" to the left with gender equality in the workplace, it appears that her boss might be leaning toward those who may be less than sympathetic to women's rights.
This past February, the Facebook founder held a fund-raising soirée at his and wife's Palo Alto home for New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie. This was the CEO's first time hosting a political event for any candidate, let alone he's been courted by Barack Obama in the past.
James Balassone, an executive in residence at Santa Clara University's Markkula for Applied Ethics feels this is was a calculated maneuver on Zuckerberg's part. As a CEO, Balassone said that Zuckerberg is responsible for "nurturing and developing relationships in D.C." with people who may "one day end up regulating" the things he is vested in.
So with the 2016 presidential contenders already jockeying for position, it appears that Zuckerberg is laying odds that the GOP just might be the government he has to work with in the foreseeable future.
However some of his billion minions think otherwise. According to Robin Wilkey at the Huffington Post, she reported that as the fundraiser progressed inside of his residence, dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the home to protest this alliance. Protestors that included nurses, women's rights advocates, progressive network CREDO Action and the infamous Raging Grannies claimed the Republican governor is anti-women rights. They objected to Zuckerberg's affiliation with the Republican leader who led $7.5 million in budget cuts for Planned Parenthood and women's health care in New Jersey.
"Hey, Facebook, shame on you!" shouted protesters. "Christie hurts women and now you do, too." Others carried signs featuring Facebook's signature "like" button in the thumbs-down position.
But support of Christie isn't the only sign that Zuckerberg might like his bread buttered on the right versus the left. Politico reported that Zucerberg and other Silicon Valley thought leaders are close to forming an advocacy organization with GOP members focusing on economic issues, education reform and comprehensive immigration reform.
Zuckerberg and the other members, which include Joe Green, formerly with NationBuilder, are working with a group of consultants, including Joe Lockhart of the Glover Park Group; Jon Lerner, the Republican strategist; and Rob Jesmer, also a Republican strategist and formerly executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
So your thoughts readers? Has social gone political? Does 1 Billion followers qualify for its own party, or would Zuckerberg be left at the voting booth with very little support from his friends? In the graphic novel satire, "Facebucks & Dumb F*cks," Z-Man (aka Zuckerberg) saw himself leading a following that could potentially give him world domination. Was that a foreshadowing of things to come or just pure fiction?