Facebook forming a PAC
Facebook has filed paperwork to form a political action committee (FB PAC), after years of increased spending on lobbying, over $550,000 so far in 2011 alone, according to TheHill.com.
The PAC is forming so that the social network can advocate for their social networks, although a Facebook spokesperson said the advocacy would be for all social networks, not just Facebook. Additionally, the PAC aims to back political candidates in future elections, an obvious choice given Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg’s own personal contributions to the 2008 Obama campaign.
“FB PAC will give our employees a way to make their voice heard in the political process by supporting candidates who share our goals of promoting the value of innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Hill.
Critics question the timing of the paperwork filing, as it closely coincides with the company’s announcement of new features they will be rolling out. “Facebook’s sweeping changes announced last week invited fresh concerns of consumer protection violations, as some users complained of confusion and fears that new functions were revealing more about themselves than they would like,” reports the Washington Post.
We find no conspiracy with the timing and find no suspicion given that various technology companies have PACs (like Google) through which employees already give, and most major organizations that spend exorbitantly on lobbying often have a PAC.
There are no apparent red flags with the PAC formation, but some wonder to what extend social network companies need to be involved in politics, as many already see them as the unavoidable “big brother” character many businesses have come to depend upon.