Mark Zuckerberg’s fear and loathing on the campaign trail

Posted by on April 17, 2017 5:47 pm
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Like our new president, Mark Zuckerberg has cut out the media middleman. He’s communicating with people through his own platform, where he has amassed 88 million Facebook followers. And he’s not just talking to them about Facebook — he’s talking to them about himself.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s 2017 personal challenge: to travel to all 50 states and talk to “folks” about their lives and concerns for the future. Four months in, he is making good time on his vow. He’s already visited an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, sampled BBQ in Baton Rouge, and petted a baby longhorn (“so cute”) at a rodeo in Ft. Worth.

Often times the themes of these visits coincide with those in the sprawling  5,700-word letter that he posted in February arguing in favor of building a global community (and Facebook’s role as the “social infrastructure” underpinning all of it). After every trip, Zuckerberg posts earnest dispatches on his Facebook page, including images taken by the former Obama photographer who now accompanies Zuckerberg on his travels.

In classic Facebook fashion, however, Zuckerberg has launched this political campaign without really taking a political position. (How else did he become the new poster CEO for civic engagement without ever disclosing who he voted for?) Where candidates want to win over citizens to push through policies and ideologies, CEOs need soft power to smooth the way for their ideas and products. The listening tour and manifesto are an opportunity for Zuckerberg to strengthen his relationship with his 1.8 billion constituents.

Read complete original post in BuzzFeed
by Natasha Tiku, News Reporter

One response to Mark Zuckerberg’s fear and loathing on the campaign trail

  1. Tony Perkins April 17th, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    By nature, Silicon Valley is perennially adolescent, optimistic, naive, and a bit awkward. Mark Zuckerberg is merely the new version of the same mystique. No longer the sweaty hid in the hoodie, Zuck is uniquely Millennial in many ways:

    1. Zuck is impossible to define by old political labels. He has launched this political campaign without really taking a political position, and he won’t say publicly who he voted for. Jon Lovett, a former speechwriter for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has observed: “I don’t understand why he sounds like a senator in his fourth term. Like, just talk, man! Don’t be so afraid.”

    2. Obviously he is all about communicating via social media.

    3. In spite of the new nationalism that has swept the U.S., Zuck still vaguely argues for building a global community [with Facebook’s role as the “social infrastructure” underpinning all of it, of course]. This is all fine, but it still smacks of the kind of superficial narcissism commonly found in his generation.

    4. His greatest political challenge is to to continue to convince the world his product is a tool for connectivity and not misinformation, mass surveillance, or censorship.

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