Mark Zuckerberg points to Facebook’s mission in defense of Peter Thiel

Connecting the world is Facebook’s mission, and Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, wove that mission in his defense of company board member Peter Thiel over his recent pledge of $1.25 million to GOP candidate Donald Trump.

In an internal company post, obtained by Hacker News and posted on Boing Boing, Zuckerberg backed Thiel, saying that Facebook can’t create a culture that supports diversity and then excludes “almost half the country” that supports Trump.

As I wrote in a column this week, the tech industry has been in an uproar over Thiel’s donation to Trump, with calls for companies and organizations that associate with him to cut off ties.

Some took an additional step: Ellen Pao’s Project Include said it was ending its relationship with Y-Combinator, where Thiel is a part-time partner.

Up until now, Facebook executives have been quiet. The Thiel issue comes after Facebook faced fierce criticism from conservatives earlier this year over whether it had a liberal skew to the news it highlighted in its Trending section.

Zuckerberg broke the silence:

We care deeply about diversity. That’s easy to say when it means standing up for ideas you agree with. It’s a lot harder when it means standing up for the rights of people with different viewpoints to say what they care about.

We can’t create a culture that says it cares about diversity and then excludes almost half the country because they back a political candidate. There are many reasons a person might support Trump that do not involve racism, sexism, xenophobia or accepting sexual assault.

Endorsing Trump is not synonymous with endorsing some of his views deemed racist, sexist, xenophobic or supportive of sexual assault, Zuckerberg wrote.

Trump supporters may agree with the candidate’s positions on smaller government, different health care system, gun control and other positions, he added.

Zuckerberg concluded by rallying his troops to Facebook’s larger mission, that the Facebook community will be stronger “for all of our differences — not only in areas of race and gender but also in areas like political ideology and freedom.”

Above: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (Kirstina Sangsahachart/Daily News)


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  • Shawn Oles

    Can we vote for Zuckerberg to be president?

  • Steve Anthony

    Zuckerberg’s statement (” …that do not involve racism, sexism, xenophobia or accepting sexual assault”) is an unjustified implicit criticism of Trump. While sexual assault & the abuse of women is practically synonymous with the Clintons, he includes it anyway as though the other side is not so debased!! The Clintons unashamedly accept monies from Saudi Arabia & Qatar; where does Z get the nerve to include sexism in any discussion of Trump? Any guy maintaining that “locker room” talk is exclusive to Trump is likely a hypocrite. To even suggest that this kind of talk amongst men represents behaviour defies explanation. The Clinton’s actions remind me of the expression, I believe by Clemens: “What you do speaks so loudly that I can’t hear a word you are saying.” Of course, the PC see it the other way around.

    As the corruption of the Clintons continues to be demonstrated, thanks to modern technology(e.g., paying homeless and mentally ill to create violence at trump rallies), it is surprising how intelligent people continue to both explicitly and implicitly continue to criticize the only person able to rid us of this scourge!