Facebook Has A Lot Of Openings For Washington Policy Folks After Spate Of Public Backlash


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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Facebook currently has several job listings for policy-related and outreach roles, apparently showing an intensified interest to hire people to help lobby the government.

There are at least 11 openings when searching “policy” in the internal careers section of Facebook and selecting “Washington” as a location.

Bloomberg, the first to report on the enumerated job postings, describes it as a “hiring spree” — one specifically stemming from public backlash after official investigations showed Russian operatives tried to use the platform to sway people’s minds during the 2016 election season.

While not necessarily very new — Facebook declined to comment on the record, including how recent some of the listings are — the prospective roles are all listed under both Menlo Park, Calif., home base for the tech giant, and Washington, D.C.

Facebook, for example, is looking for someone to be an “Associate General Counsel” in the regulatory department, a position that will likely require work both at the main headquarters and where federal policymakers reside and operate.

They also need a person to fill the role of “Compliance Counsel, Political Activities,” which is just listed under the nation’s capital for location.

Both positions could help Facebook at least temper an onslaught of negative press, and coinciding public backlash that has ensued over recent months, and picked up further in recent weeks. Along with the aforementioned situation surrounding Facebook ads and events reportedly created by Russians to sow discord amongst the electorate and intervene in the election, the social media company was accused of also being manipulated in a different way.

Facebook announced in mid-March that it is suspending a data analytics firm that worked with President Donald Trump during his campaign because it violated an agreement purportedly meant to only allow it to collect user data to a certain extent. Then, reports arose Sunday and Monday that show how Facebook collects call and text logs through Google Android apps. Also not necessarily new, Facebook technically asks for permission to scan and collect communication information upon downloading its apps, but several people were appalled by not only it doing so, but the degree to which it stockpiles such data.

As Facebook gets peppered with allegations of promiscuity when it comes to protecting information of people’s online trends and tendencies, as well as the data firms it partners with, it appears to need help convincing lawmakers not to ostensibly overreact. After all, many are now threatening federal oversight, a massive potential threat to Facebook’s fast-growing success and power. (RELATED: Google And Facebook Have Donated Thousands To Congressmen They Are Testifying Before)

Facebook spent the third most money on government lobbying in 2017, behind Amazon and Google — two companies also being thrusted into conversations about possible government intervention. Individually, Apple spent $7 million in 2017, Facebook $11.5 million, Google $18 million and Amazon $12.8 million, all substantial upticks from 2016. A further uptick, or perhaps surge, for 2018 seems feasible, if not likely.

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