Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg privately addressed Paypal Co-founder Peter Thiel’s very public support of Republican nominee Donald Trump in a company-wide statement Wednesday.
“I want to quickly address the questions and concerns about Peter Thiel as a board member and Trump supporter,” Zuckerberg began.
A Facebook spokesperson confirms the authenticity of this internal post by Mark Zuckerberg regarding Peter Thiel. pic.twitter.com/LtLbVoXiyN
— Anthony De Rosa (@Anthony) October 19, 2016
“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. That’s even more important.”
Zuckerberg added that for a company to care about diversity, it can’t exclude “almost half the country” based on their political beliefs. “There are many reasons a person might support Trump that do not involve racism, sexism, xenophobia or accepting sexual assault.”
“It may be because they believe strongly in smaller government, a different tax policy, health care system, religious issues, gun rights or any other issue where he disagrees with Hillary.”
Zuckerberg then concluded, “That’s ultimately what Facebook is about: giving everyone the power to share our experiences, so we can understand each other a bit better and connect us a little closer together.”
Thiel spoke in support of Trump on the state of the Republican National Convention in July, and recently donated $1.25 million to political groups supporting the campaign.
Venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya said he “absolutely” would kick Thiel off his board if the millionaire were on his board of directors in a CNBC interview Wednesday. “But that’s a personal choice. I would. I control my company, I’m the one that invested all the money, I get to decide. And that’s what I would decide. So yeah. I would.”
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