Remember when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lit into Donald Trump at that recent tech conference? He was quite “worried” about people who want to control immigration and border crossings, place restrictions on foreign trade and all manner of other things. He clearly wants nothing to do with the guy since they have so little in common when it comes to policy decisions. But apparently that’s not enough to keep him away from the big party in Cleveland because Facebook is going to be a sponsor anyway. (Fortune)
With Donald Trump all but nominated as the Republican Party’s presidential candidate, Facebook has confirmed to Recode that it will remain a sponsor of the GOP’s July convention in Cleveland. That’s despite an activist group urging tech companies to pull their support for the event, which they characterize as “sponsoring” Trump’s contentious platform.
It’s also despite public tension between Trump and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who last month criticized “fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as others.” Though Zuckerberg did not name Trump, Trump’s campaign staff nonetheless responded to the comments, saying that Zuckerberg’s “attitude would change” if he moved closer to the U.S. border.
Yes, there’s plenty of things that Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t like, particularly when it comes to appealing to that young, hip audience which is his target demographic. But there’s one thing that the Boy Wonder definitely does like and that’s money. You don’t want to pass up on an opportunity to have a presence at an event with this sort of global media coverage, so Facebook will be there.
Of course, there’s one other thing that any CEO of a major corporation likes and that’s influence with the government. (It never pays to make too many enemies among the folks who pass all the regulations and determine the tax rates, eh?) Were I bit more conspiratorially inclined, I might note that Facebook will also be a sponsor of the Democrat’s party in Philadelphia. Sure, they can talk a good game about how this is all about highlighting the technology, but the parties pay attention to who helps foot the bills. In fact, most of the companies sponsoring such activities are putting some money into both of them.
Facebook may play to a younger, more liberal audience in their press releases but they are a major company with bills to pay, profits to take in and government interactions to navigate. There is zero guarantee as to who will win either the White House or control of Congress this far out from the election so the major players are going to hedge their bets. My apologies to all the idealists out there who thought there was something pure as the driven snow about Zuckerberg but they guy’s got business to take care of.
It’s a capitalist country, so get used to the idea.