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Facebook Government The Almighty Buck Politics

Facebook Forming a PAC 217

Posted by Soulskill
from the politics-is-the-worst-kind-of-social-networking dept.
DougDot writes "According to a recent SFGate article, 'Social networking giant Facebook is expanding its political footprint, confirming that it has filed the necessary paperwork to open a political action committee in advance of the 2012 elections. The move is the latest in a series of maneuvers boosting the Palo Alto company's political profile in recent years, joining a steady rise in lobbying spending, several high-profile fundraisers and the failed statewide candidacy of one of its key officers for attorney general last year.' With 800 million users in its social network, and with very deep pockets, we could have a new, powerful Congress-influencing entity steering American politics."
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Facebook Forming a PAC

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  • by Call Me Black Cloud (616282) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @07:49PM (#37606442)

    "Senator, we were browsing through your Facebook messages and noticed a few interesting exchanges with 14 year old girls, your mother-in-law, and a llama rancher. I'm sure you can now see your way clear to vote against additional consumer privacy safeguards."
    • by Bucky24 (1943328)
      Heh, facebook owns the database. They could CREATE the messages if they wanted to.
    • That would be highly illegal and corrupt way of doing it!

      A much simpler method is to donate money to the campaigns of politicians. No less corrupt but legal!

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @07:50PM (#37606446) Homepage Journal
    After all, Facebook boy would probably happily spend millions to get his federal income taxes - all $300.18 that he paid - refunded to him.
    • by ALeader71 (687693) <glennsnead@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @08:02PM (#37606560)

      After all, Facebook boy would probably happily spend millions to get his federal income taxes - all $300.18 that he paid - refunded to him.

      I bet he goes for both parties as a lot of PACs do today. Why limit yourself, when both parties are equally malleable? All he has to do is make a case for job creation and the politicians will line up to hear his pitch (after collecting the checks of course).

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        Most PACs, at least the more visible ones, tend to be disguised arms of political candidates and parties. Take the AARP for instance, They have never showed support for any republican concept in the last 20 years, unless it was in a primary contest and purposed by one of the lesser popular candidates. they drop that stand or ignore it in term elections.

        • Maybe its because the Republicans want to privatize Social Security while reducing if not eliminating Medicare and Medicaid which many senior citizens depend on?

          • by sumdumass (711423)

            That's a pretty good soundbite. but doesn't match reality.

            Medicaid has nothing to do with seniors, Its a state run ordeal that deals with the indigent. The cuts to medicare that I know of seem to be surrounding a means testing in which the rich seniors who wouldn't be dependent on medicare would have to pay for coverage, and I see nothing wrong with privatizing social security. It's not like there won't be rules on it that already are in place for anyone else involved in an existing retirement program outsi

            • Sounds like you need a reality check.

              A large number of seniors living on limited, fixed income qualify for Medicaid, I have known seniors who had both a pension and social security who still qualified for medicaid.

              As for privatizing Social Security, look at what happened to Lehman Brothers. Also the same people who are wanting to privatize are also want to deregulate. Even now there are people in congress who want to remove the regulations that were put in place after the crash. And even with regulations

    • In 2008, Zuckerberg hosted Obama [reuters.com].

      According to open secrets, Facebook employees support Democrats 97% of the time. [opensecrets.org] But Zuckerberg personally hadn't donated enough to show up on the Fed's radar in 2008 or 2010.

      • In 2008, Zuckerberg hosted Obama.

        That could have just as well been a PR stunt for him. That, and he wasn't worth quite as much money then, either. But really, if you are trying to draw attention to your company and you have a choice between a geriatric white guy or the first black guy to win the presidential endorsement from a major party in our country, the choice is obvious.

        According to open secrets, Facebook employees support Democrats 97% of the time. But Zuckerberg personally hadn't donated enough to show up on the Fed's radar in 2008 or 2010.

        I would advise against confusing facebook employees and their politics with those of the head of facebook. I haven't heard of any other billionaires from that co

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by prostoalex (308614) *

          * Any time somebody votes GOP, they do it out of money
          * Any time somebody votes Democrat, they do it out of goodness of their heart and pristine beauty of their souls

          • by sanzibar (2043920)
            attempt at /sarc or do you really believe the crap they sell u?

            March 30, 1868 Republicans begin impeachment trial of Democrat President Andrew Johnson, who declared: “This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government of white men”
            October 7, 1868 Republicans denounce Democratic Party’s national campaign theme: “This is a white man’s country: Let white men rule”
            February 3, 1870 After passing House with 98% Republican
      • According to open secrets, Facebook employees support Democrats 97% of the time.

        Don't employees of all large tech companies predominantly vote Democrat? I'm pretty sure I've seen similar statistics regarding Apple, Google and Microsoft, to name a few.

        • by sumdumass (711423)

          typically yes. i guess its because most of them are fresh out of college and aren't aware that life and politic ideologies don't exactly work as they where supposed to when explained to them.

          Here is something interesting. young democrats tend to become old republicans once the accumulate wealth and attempt to protect it and their families.

        • From what I remember Microsoft is slightly Republican-leaning in terms of donations.

          • Microsoft PAC used to be [seattlepi.com], but not anymore - and even then that doesn't properly represent leanings of individual employees, which were predominantly Democratic for a decade now [redmondmag.com].

            Really, all you need to do is to hang around the campus in Redmond in the morning and count the Obama stickers. ~

            (though of course it's also possible that fewer Republicans just donate more each)

    • by vinlud (230623)

      Source?

  • First on the agenda, make privacy illegal, and put anybody that desires it on the no-fly list and tag them as un-American terrorists

  • Vote for [anti-privacy interests] this election!!

    If you do not copy and paste this in your status you facebook account will be closed!!~!!~!

  • This is probably all about keeping the feds off of Zukerberg's backside. While he's a huge Obama supporter, he's also a target of the current administration because he is one of the Evil Rich. In addition, with Obama's re-election chances looking less certain than Facebook's privacy promises, he may well need to CYA with the next administration as soon as 2013.
    • This may be a little off-topic, but you're kidding yourself if you don't think Obama is a lock for reelection. The Republicans were able to take so many congressional seats in 2010 because less people voted. When Obama's name is on the ticket hordes of people will make it to the polls who didn't bother with the midterm elections. Republicans just make it to the polls more consistently.

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        not really. Obama didn't win by a lot in comparative terms to previous elections. he's probably not going to be able to generate near the support he had originally to get elected.

        in fact, he's likely caused a surge in potential turn out against him. I know life long democrats who do nothing but complain about Obama every time the name is brought up.

        • Or like my wife's grandmother and grandfather believe that President Obama is a closet Muslim terrorist, yes they really do believe this. Previously they had voted down the democratic party ticket since they became US citizens (being ethnic Jews they fled Hungary before WWII) but because he is brown and has a funny name they believe any rumor about him. As far a complaining about President Obama there are those on the far left who think he is too moderate, but keep in mind that those one the far right run a
      • Yeah if the Republicans can get a half-decent, relatively sane candidate, Obama's chances will be slim. His only chance is if Perry continues to make himself look like a politician straight out of Escape from LA or the Starship Troopers movie, or Bachmann/Palin/Romney become the front-runner somehow. Liberals aren't going to be fooled by Obama's sweet, sweet meaningless words a second time and would be likely to abstain, and any centrist Democrats who are happy with him would have no problem voting for a Re

    • This is probably all about keeping the feds off of Zukerberg's backside.

      Insightful.

      he's also a target of the current administration because he is one of the Evil Rich.

      sigh

      In addition, with Obama's re-election chances looking less certain than Facebook's privacy promises

      With 13 months until the election the news channels will be sure to play it out like a long soap opera but you are probably correct. It is likely voter turnout will be driven by dissatisfaction which doesn't bode well for the sitting President.

      , he may well need to CYA with the next administration as soon as 2013.

      As privacy groups bring up issues and try to push Congress to enact legislation controlling data storage/usage he needs to cover his ass no matter which party controls Congress. It also doesn't hurt to influence a government that influences so many ot

  • by cjcela (1539859) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @10:28PM (#37607716)
    ..how many of the people posting take this so lightly. There should be outrage here. Companies bearing weight on congress is not a good idea, people. Maybe many of you are too young to see what is going on, but the idea is that the country is governed by the people and for the people, not by Mr. Facebook for his company. And while you have 20 seconds of laugh writing a funny post, your future is eroding right in front of your eyes, and you are completely oblivious to it...
    • Like the outrage about unions doing the same thing for the past decades? I dont think its right in either case. But if a union can form a PAC and donate to and lobby candidates/elected officials, its not any different for a company to do it too. Personally I'd rather see neither allowed...
    • by cbope (130292)

      Agree. I suppose it's just that most Americans just don't give a shit anymore. As an American living abroad, I see far better protection of individual rights and freedoms in the EU. Which is ironic because Americans always tout their "freedom", but in reality you have little left. Following 9/11, it has nearly all been signed away in the name of fighting terrorism. Yet you still have weak government that caves to business interests on a daily basis. Strong government that is not fed by business is what is n

      • by AP31R0N (723649)

        What freedoms have i lost since 9/11, specifically?

        AFACT, i've lost only the right to board a plane without taking off my shoes.

    • by dbet (1607261)
      People are under-informed and outright lied to. The media reports what the government tells them to report. And they feel utterly powerless to do anything about it. No one cares that our armies are used as death squads, targeting civilians all over the world, to advance international business interests. No one cares that the president can legally murder any U.S. citizen with no judicial oversight. No one cares that the government uses "national security" to keep almost everything they do a secret from
    • by martas (1439879)
      'cause they're all already jaded. Stephen Colbert is trying to show how ridiculous the influence of money in politics is, but he's having a really hard time doing anything more ridiculous than what is already the norm that everyone is used to. It's hard to be outraged 20 times a day, which is about the frequency with which stories like this seem to be coming out.
      • by Culture20 (968837)

        Stephen Colbert is trying to show how ridiculous the influence of money in politics is, but he's having a really hard time doing anything more ridiculous than what is already the norm that everyone is used to.

        Maybe he should lead by example instead of hoping to argue by absurdity. When he goes over the top, that becomes the new top that people are used to.

        • by martas (1439879)
          I disagree. To elaborate, if you saw the village idiot eating horseshit, you wouldn't think that's the norm and start eating horseshit yourself. Colbert is a comedian, a satirist. He doesn't set norms for anyone, perhaps with the exception of other comedians.
    • by RogerWilco (99615)

      I fortunately live in a slightly more sane country, but as I understand it, this is entirely legal, and even decided to be according to your Constitution quite recently.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission [wikipedia.org]

    • by ffflala (793437)

      ..how many of the people posting take this so lightly. There should be outrage here. Companies bearing weight on congress is not a good idea, people. Maybe many of you are too young to see what is going on, but the idea is that the country is governed by the people and for the people, not by Mr. Facebook for his company. And while you have 20 seconds of laugh writing a funny post, your future is eroding right in front of your eyes, and you are completely oblivious to it...

      I understand your feelings, but when it comes down to it outrage isn't going to *do* anything about the problem of "companies bearing weight on congress." Love it or hate it, corporate influence on US government is a reality. That bell has already rung.

      The reason that so many are just fine with corporate influence on Congress is that, well, corporations are people. I don't mean in the sense of legal recognition, I mean the CEO, the board, middle management, HR, accounting, and stakeholders -- these are

  • by JWW (79176)

    In the future, we will look back on this as another signpost on the path of Facebook's fall.....

    • In the future, we will look back on this as another signpost on the path of Facebook's fall.....

      And not as a stumble on the way to the Facebook World Government? :)

  • facebook for president!
  • As facebook has members/users worldwide, why just restrict to influencing US politics?

    • by RogerWilco (99615)

      Not in all countries do corporations have as much political influence as in the USA. For example in my country, the funding of political parties is based on the number of voters they have as registered members, the money those members contribute and the number of elected representatives the party has (for access to public broadcasting networks). Things like PACs simply don't exist. Special interest groups usually start their own party, as you only need about 0,7% of the votes to get a seat in parliament.

      Of

    • Because US politics can effect the politics of most of the world's other countries. Some idiotic governments even pointlessly copy whatever the US government does, like some kind of cargo cult mentality...

  • 800 million users? How many citizens are there in the United States of America? Does this mean I can sign up and start influencing the US? I have some ideas...

  • Hmmm I'm pretty sure this is how the plot from Frozen Synapse starts out.
    He ends up accurately predicting elections with all that data mining and gains political power when he can tell what potential platform/candidate will get someone elected. Of course from there, his alter-space "shape" economy kicks off and he starts sending virtual hit squads against competitors.
  • Why does a social networking website need a Political Action Committee!?

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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