Facebook staff donates more to Hillary than any other candidate.
In an interview with marketing website Contently, Peter Rojas, founder of tech sites Engadget, Gizmodo, Joystiq, and gdgt, said Mark Zuckerberg has the power to sway the upcoming presidential election if he decides to do so.
The topic came up in the context of a question about the recent “Trending Topics” controversy at Facebook. Rojas was asked about the line between tech and media companies and whether there is one anymore, especially at Facebook.
“The question of whether Facebook is tech company or a media company, I’m not sure it’s a meaningful question at this point,” he said. “What would that accomplish in terms of helping us understand Facebook?”
“Facebook is a better platform through which an enormous percentage of the world’s media now flows, whether you like it or not. The idea that Facebook is neutral or that its algorithms are neutral, I think anybody who believed that was just kidding themselves. No company is ever neutral.”
Former editors in the news aggregation department at Facebook recently told Gizmodo that they had “the power to choose what stories make it onto the trending bar and, more importantly, what news sites each topic links out to.” Even though part of the process is automated, they claimed that some topics and sources are “blacklisted.” (And realistically, even the automated processes are controlled by human programmers who create the algorithms.)
While Rojas acknowledged that it would be to Facebook’s advantage to “try to diminish the perception” of having a lot of power, “the truth is that if Mark Zuckerberg wanted to tilt this election to Hillary Clinton, he could do that,” he said.