Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s Man in Washington, Has an Infinite Reach

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Even by the norms of the Trump White House, the crisis that took place on May 29, 2020, in the morning, was noteworthy. On that Friday, a small group of employees was huddled around a phone in a West Wing office, some of whom were listening with reserved shock. On the phone, Mark Zuckerberg was pleading for a conversation with the president. joel washington dc meta bidenwoffordwired.

After George Floyd was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee, Minneapolis entered its fourth day of widespread demonstrations, which continued unabated. President Donald Trump sent a 102-word philippic to his Facebook and Twitter pages on Friday morning at roughly 1 am Eastern. He promised the US military’s backing and added the horrifying proverb “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”¬†¬†kaplan washington dc meta bidenwoffordwired.

It was immediately apparent to Facebook’s executives in Washington, DC, how serious a problem this was for the corporation. In an impossible balancing act for four years, Mark Zuckerberg tried to appease two hostile groups. At one end of the spectrum stood influential conservatives who believed Facebook was undermining the right. On the other side were Democratic lawmakers who had the exact opposite opinion, not to mention Facebook’s left-leaning staff, and accused the business of changing its policies to support Trumpism. Now it appeared as though Trump had yanked down firmly on the line while looking up at Zuckerberg’s high-wire act.   

According to Mike Davis, a senior Republican figure on Capitol Hill and founder of the Internet Accountability Project, “They have a lot of money, a lot of power, and a lot of influence.” “They’re going to be rocked if these bipartisan proposals pass, even two or three of them. In some ways, a conflict of this magnitude is the logical conclusion of Kaplan’s profession, which has been committed to protecting America’s most important institutions. This will be Kaplan’s toughest fight in his or her work career, Davis states plainly.        

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