Don’t Tilt Scales Against President Trump, Facebook Executive Warns
On Dec. 30, Andrew Bosworth, the head of Facebook’s virtual and augmented reality division, wrote on his internal Facebook page that, as a liberal, he found himself wanting to use the social network’s powerful platform against President Donald Trump. But citing the “Lord of the Rings” franchise and the philosopher John Rawls, Mr. Bosworth said that doing so would eventually backfire. “So what stays my hand? I find myself thinking of the Lord of the Rings at this moment. Specifically when Frodo offers the ring to [Galadriel] and she imagines using the power righteously, at first, but knows it will eventually corrupt her. As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear.”
Bosworth said he believed Facebook was responsible for Mr. Trump’s 2016 election victory, but not because of Russian interference or the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which millions of Facebook users’ data was leaked to a political strategy firm that worked with the Trump campaign. “He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period.” Bosworth said that even though keeping the current policies in place “very well may lead to” Trump’s re-election, it was the right decision.
Don’t Tilt Scales Against President Trump, Facebook Executive Warns Facebook executive says company was responsible for Trump’s victory but warns against policy changes (WaPo)