Today, activists plan to rally outside of Facebook’s Menlo Park Headquarters in protest of Zuckergerg’s role in public policy, more specifically, the Keystone XL pipeline. Responding to a recent ad released by the conservative leaning subsidiary of Zuckerberg’s advocacy group FWD.us, the protestors, organized by the Next Step Keystone Action coalition, will take to the streets at 11:45am and march for two hours, starting at 1401 Willow Road.
The conservative leaning subsidiary has been quietly airing ads pushing for immigration reform, an issue of paramount importance to the Silicon Valley’s tech industry. The ad in question consists clips of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham discussing healthcare, energy dependence, and his dedication to “South Carolina values.”
“No keystone pipeline, no drilling in the Gulf, at the end of the day, the economy’s not doing well,” he says, criticizing the president. In this clear attack of President Obama, the ad takes a stance on the controversial issue of the Keystone XL pipeline. Coming from an advocacy group created by a man who previously supported moving away from fossil fuels and expressed interest in green energy, environmental activists join those angered by Mark Zuckerberg’s recent interest in politics.
Ironically, CREDO Action is planning to use Facebook against the network’s creator, creating an ad campaign attacking FWD.us for its pandering ads.
“We want to start using Facebook as a way to make the connection about how political Mark Zuckerberg has become,” CREDO’s political director Becky Bond said.
The group has also starting a petition, asking that FWD.us stop promoting immigration reform at the expense of environmental protections. The petition has over 18,000 of the group’s 20,000 goal.
This is not the first time the Silicon Valley’s tech industry has tried to get in the political game, and it’s certainly not the last. But it highlights an important question in today’s society: What role should the tech industry have in the shaping of policy?