Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg dismisses rumors of a presidential run amid listening tour

Mark Zuckerberg flat out stated he’s not running for president or any public elected office, the Facebook boss said in a blog post about his listening tour.

The chief executive officer and co-founder of Menlo Park-based Facebook has embarked on an odyssey to all 50 states, and said a presidential run isn’t in the cards.

During his wanderings, Zuckerberg has formulated an observation that might seem self-evident to some: Relationships are important to people.

“My biggest takeaway so far is that our relationships shape us more than we think — how we consider opportunities, how we process information, and how we form habits,” Zuckerburg stated in the blog post.

Zuckerburg said he’s still got a lot more to learn during his quest to talk to people in all 50 states. And he also didn’t want to talk about too many specifics until he’s finished visiting every state.

“After my early trips, people asked me what I was learning but I wanted to be careful not to generalize because every state is so different,” Zuckerberg stated in the post.

Zuckerberg opined that a key element of inequality is the makeup of a person’s social networks. Access to excellent information is important, but that’s far from the only key issue affecting individuals, Zuckerberg blogged.

“It’s true we’re all missing some information that would help us make better decisions no matter where we live. But the people I’ve met have good reasons for the decisions they make based on their experiences and those of their friends and family,” Zuckerberg stated. “The more fundamental issue seems to be the friends and family we surround ourselves with. This is a powerful force upstream of the information we receive and it determines how we process and factor it into our decisions.”

Zuckerberg offered anecdotes about people he met in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan — all states that President Donald Trump won during the November election. Zuckerberg also mentioned his experiences in poor areas of the south, a region carried by Trump in the election.

“This isn’t a scientific study and it requires further research, but I think there’s something to this idea that your relationships shape your path more than we realize,” Zuckerberg stated. “I also think this is an area where Facebook can make a difference.”

And as for running for president, Zuckerberg torpedoed the idea.

“Some of you have asked if this challenge means I’m running for public office. I’m not,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I’m doing it to get a broader perspective to make sure we’re best serving our community of almost 2 billion people at Facebook.”


Photo: Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. (Getty Images)


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