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Social media may be too new to know this, but you need to tread lightly when Washington, DC, is looking. While President Trump has expanded his vocabulary to include “fake social” and “fake search,” last week we had Facebook employees come out against the company for its “political monoculture.”
The calling out of the liberal mindset that is prevalent in Silicon Valley couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Last week’s hearing held by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on how foreign influence operations use social media to spread political propaganda opens the doors for all sorts of new grilling.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has invited Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai to appear on Wednesday.
As of press time, Google would only offer to send its senior vice president of global affairs.
That is not how you handle a Senate request, Google, after being called out by the president days earlier.
What these companies appear to be forgetting is that there are shareholders who do not want to hear static about their shares taking a hit over political bias.
A public social media company can’t conflate management’s political views with what it permits platform users to view on its sites and still say it is looking to serve shareholders’ interests.
Intentionally excluding or turning off users isn’t good for advertising revenues.
Social media companies have an obligation to their shareholders to not pollute their own brand and disenfranchise their platforms’ user bases. The revenue derived from advertising is based on the number of users.
It’s time for Silicon Valley to grow up and act in a way that is good for its shareholders since they are the real owners of the companies.
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