Facebook, once the darling of Dems, is now their demon.
One of Facebook's biggest 2020 headaches isn't election interference or fake news — it's worrying about what a Democrat in the White House could mean for the business, Axios' Sara Fischer and Scott Rosenberg write.
Why it matters: Big Tech got a warm embrace from Democrats during the Obama years. No longer.
Many of them hold Facebook responsible for President Trump's 2016 victory, blame it for misinformation, and vow to regulate or break it up.
Democratic contenders responded with visceral dislike to mentions of Facebook during the N.Y. Times' recent on-camera endorsement interviews:
Joe Biden: "I’ve never been a fan of Facebook, as you probably know. I’ve never been a big Zuckerberg fan. I think he’s a real problem."
Bernie Sanders: "You have Facebook and Twitter, Google, enormous amount of the advertising that is done online. These are very, very serious problems."
Pete Buttigieg: "[T]hat’s the problem with Facebook. No one company and no one person should have the kind of power that they’ve accumulated."
P.S. President Trump praised Mark Zuckerberg during an interview in Davos with CNBC's Joe "Squawk Box" Kernen:
"[H]e's done a hell of a job, when you think of it. ... I heard he was going to run for president. That wouldn't be too frightening, I don't think. But he does have that monster behind him."
Facebook today unveils county-by-county maps of people with coronavirus symptoms, and says they'll be updated daily throughout the crisis.
The company plans to begin running the surveys globally this week, with the first results soon.
Mark Zuckerberg tells Axios: "Since experiencing symptoms is a precursor to going to the hospital or becoming more seriously ill, these maps could be an important tool for governments and public health officials to make decisions on how to allocate scarce resources like ventilators and PPE, and eventually when it's safe to start reopening society."
Why it matters: "I think providing aggregate data to governments and health officials is one of the most important tools tech companies can provide to help respond to COVID," Zuckerberg says.
Zuckerberg writes today in a Washington Post op-ed that, in contrast to past global pandemics, "we have a new superpower: the ability to gather and share data for good."
"If we use it responsibly, I’m optimistic that data can help the world respond to this health crisis and get us started on the road to recovery."
Facebook wants the Federal Court of Canada to toss out privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien’s finding that the social media giant’s lax practices allowed personal data to be used for political purposes. In February, the privacy watchdog asked the same court to declare Facebook broke the law governing how the private sector can use personal information.
I've been struggling with how to respond to the President's tweets and posts all day. Personally, I have a visceral negative reaction to this kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric. ... But I'm responsible for reacting not just in my personal capacity but as the leader of an institution committed to free expression. ...
I disagree strongly with how the President spoke about this, but I believe people should be able to see this for themselves, because ultimately accountability for those in positions of power can only happen when their speech is scrutinized out in the open.