Watching out for bear traps
Indeed, Facebook apparently views the Trump campaign as one of its best customers:
“While Facebook has been reluctant to publicly acknowledge how well Trump used its social network to reach voters, it has celebrated the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign internally as one of the most imaginative uses of the company’s powerful advertising platform. In addition to interviews with Trump campaign staffers and former Facebook employees, BuzzFeed News obtained company presentations and memos that show the social media giant viewed Trump’s campaign as an “innovator” of a fast-moving, test-oriented approach to marketing on Facebook.”
The story highlights an important point; many people increasingly want companies to take a moral stance – to be more ‘human’ and less impartial. And when it comes to the Trump presidency, with all the stories of Russian collusion, the poor treatment of immigrant children, the environmental neglect and all the rest, well – it’s hard not to take a stance. You’re either against Trump, or you wholeheartedly endorse him, in many people’s eyes.
In real life though, Facebook is like any big corporation. It has to 'cosy up’ to whoever is in office to make sure it is in the best position to make money for its shareholders. The big difference is, unlike 'Big Oil’ or 'Big Health,’ Facebook has the power to make or break a president by directly influencing the electorate.
If Facebook did take a clear anti-Trump stance, it would likely trigger a political storm of right-wingers calling for it to be broken up to limit its power. So, you can understand why Zuckerberg treads so carefully and appears so morally bankrupt.
His Holocaust denial misstep this week was an example of him focusing all his attention on treading so carefully that he missed where he was going and put his foot straight into a bear trap. He’ll have to hope that staying neutral on the Trump presidency doesn’t turn out to be the biggest, most painful bear trap of all