Home > News content

At the bottom of Zuckerberg's Capitol Hill trip: Facebook really did not spend less

via:新浪科技     time:2018/4/16 9:02:19     readed:967

For Zuckerberg and Facebook, this trip to the National Assembly is undoubtedly a big test to restore the image. In crisis public relations, he paid a lot of tragic tuition fees. In the first five days after the Cambridge analysis scandal was revealed, Zuckerberg did not promptly publicly respond to an apology, causing media and netizens to criticize. As a result, the stock price plummeted by 16%, the market value once evaporated more than 700 billion US dollars, and the deletion of Facebook# became Twitter. On the hot words. Therefore, the Capitol Hill hearing almost became his back-to-back battle.

Facebook lobbying spending increased year after year

Public relations team are old acquaintances in the Parliament

In such an important battle, Zuckerberg is certainly prepared. For Washington’s Washington office, which is responsible for government relations, this is also a crucial moment in the use of troops for thousands of days. As Facebook grew to become an Internet giant, Zuckerberg formally established this division in 2008 with the help of Sandberg. According to public data, Facebook has invested nearly US$52 million in lobbying for Congress during the past 9 years, and its annual expenditure has been significantly improved.

In 2008, Zuckerberg hired Sandberg from Google to become COO, and from Google Elliot Schrageer was hired as Facebook's vice president of global public relations, marketing and public policy.He formed Facebook's Washington government relations team.Figures from the Center for Responsive, a research agency, show that Facebook lobbied $11.51 million in 2017, an increase of $24.5bn from $8.69 million in 2016.

Facebook’s spending on political lobbying in the field of technology was originally second only to Google. But last year, e-commerce and cloud giantsAmazonMore than US$13 million was invested in congressional lobbying, making Facebook’s lobbying spending ranking third. Given that Facebook and Amazon are currently under heavy pressure from the District of Columbia (the core of the government’s relationship in the United States is Trump’s President Trump), the two giants will obviously continue to increase their lobbying efforts this year.

Prior to this Congress Hill hearing, Zuckerberg had carefully prepared for the parliamentary round of wheel warfare with the help of a professional team of hundreds of public relations and government relations experts. In the course of the hearing, the media also photographed the preparations for Zuckerberg. The above outlines the answers to various questions.

The most acute problem countermeasures include:

If you want to split Facebook how to answer? Answer: Spin-off is not conducive to the U.S. Internet competitiveness and will help Chinese technology companies.

What if you ask Zuckerberg to resign? Answer: I founded Facebook. I made a mistake. I must take responsibility and face this challenge.

However, what makes Zuckerberg somewhat comfortable is that the members of Congress have not asked these two most critical questions; the most rigorous question is whether Facebook should change its business model. Zuckerberg is overwhelmed. The expression spent the most embarrassing moment and spent the four-minute question time from the federal congressman from Silicon Valley. This has to be said to be a huge victory for the Facebook lobbying team. Both House of Representatives gave Zuckerberg enough face.

Before officially attending the hearing on Tuesday, Zuckerberg rushed to the capital of the District of Columbia on a private plane that he spent $1.3 million a year to rent. Accompanied by his own public relations and policy team executives, he met several people on Monday. The MPs, who have significant influence, communicated in advance about the possible problems of the hearings, and also partially resolved the tense atmosphere that might occur at that time. (Compared with other tech giants, Zuckerberg has not spent hundreds of millions of dollars on purchasing private jets, but is an affordable choice to rent.

The amount of face that Congress gives to this comes from the lobbying team behind Zuckerberg. At this congressional hearing, several key lobbyists from Facebook’s Washington office stayed with Zuckerberg around and behind him, adding to him the courage and confidence to face US legislators' inquiries. These lobbyists all have at least ten years of working experience in the US Capitol Hill and the White House. They have extensive working experience with members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and are more or less indebted to the United States federal government.

This is a picture of Zuckerberg during the hearing.One of Zuckerberg's serious faces is Joe Kaplanan, vice president of public relations policy at Facebook, and head of Facebook's current public policy team in Washington.He was the White House Deputy Chief of staff of President George W. Bush.On his right, the blonde is Facebook's director of public policy, Marian Jordan Jordan Jordan, who has worked as an aide to the Bush administration and the U.S. Senate for years.

At present, the Republican Party in the United States holds an advantageous seat in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Perhaps this is also why Zuckerberg chose Kaplan and Jordan to accompany him to attend the hearing. During the hearing, the senators saw what they had seen as “old friends” in the White House when they questioned Zuckerberg. Facebook has dedicated lobbyists for both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives and the ass and the elephants. Jordan is currently responsible for the lobbying work of Senate Republicans.

In the process of Zuckerberg to the hill worship wharf, in his left hand side stopped media face a man is Facebook public policy director Brian Rice (Brian Rice). This is the Facebook to dig from the nation's largest telecom operator Verizon lobbying specialist, he served as former US Secretary of state, Senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (2004 John Kerry) years assistant, currently is the main Senate Democrats lobbying.

In Zuckerberg's appearance on Capitol Hill, the bespectacled man on the left is Andy Stoneer, Facebook's director of public policy.He also spent more than a decade in Washington, where he served as director of public relations in the House of Representatives and helped Kerry in the 2004 U.S. presidential election.The woman on the right is Andrea Besmehne, a longtime executive assistant at Zuckerberg.

With an interesting twist, the American press is clearly suffering from facial blindness to Asian Americans.When Besmahn accompanied Zuckerberg into Capitol Hill, mainstream media such as Yahoo and the Associated Press mistook Besmayn for thinking that Zuckerberg's Chinese wife, Priscilla Chan, was Priscilla Chan.The Great Oolong was obviously ironic, wondering what it was like for Priscilla Chen to see.

The real wife of Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chen, was born to a Vietnamese Chinese family whose parents emigrated to the United States for political asylum.Zuckerberg's growing fluency in Mandarin also benefits from his Chinese-American wife.The Zuckerbergs, who had known each other at Harvard for 14 years, were quietly married and had two children when Facebook went public in 2012.Now Priscilla Chan is in charge of the Zuckerberg couple's charity.

Facebook's Washington office, which did not appear in the media this time, also includes Chris Herndonnton, Facebook's director of public policy, who assisted two Republican congressmen in both houses of Congress.He has also worked on the Senate Business Committee, which oversees the Facebook directly, Senator commence Committee.Another public policy director, Louisa Terrell, a former special assistant and deputy chief of staff to former U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, has worked at the White House in lobbying for Senate Democrats.

Of particular note is Facebook's director of public policy for House Democrats lobbying, Catlin O'Neill.She served for a decade as chief of staff for the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives, Representative Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, and the granddaughter of former Speaker of the House of Representatives Tim O'Neill.

O'Neill is a true Democrat of the Democratic Party. He served in the United States House of Representatives for 34 years from the 1950s to the late 1980s. He served as the Democratic Party’s leading whip, majority leader, and speaker of the House of Representatives for nearly two decades. It is also the core driver of the "Watergate Incident" main missile and Republican President Nixon. At present, many Democrats, senior members of the Diet in Congress have been O’Neal. For Katrin, the United States House of Representatives is a memory of her work for several decades.

Lobbying is the realm of American politics

For these members of Facebook’s Washington public policy team, visiting the two houses of Congress is like “going back to her parents’ home” and is filled with “old leaders” and “old colleagues” who have been with each other for many years. But in addition to these old acquaintances in the United States Congress and even the White House, Facebook also hired ten lobbying agencies such as the Ogilvy Government Relations, each of which is responsible for different lobbying policy areas. The total number of registered lobbyists exceeded 40.

It is necessary to explain one downstream. If the House of Representatives and the House of Representatives of the Congress are the face of the U.S. political system, then many lobbying agencies and practitioners are the leaders of Washington’s political arena. Their work is less known, but their influence is everywhere. Through various channels, these lobbyists have influenced the formulation of the US Congress’s policies, controlled the investigation and enforcement of the federal government, and won many rights and interests for the enterprises and institutions that they spoke for.

In the classic political drama House of Cards, Remy Danton, a senior partner at Glendon Hill, a Washington lobby, plays an important role in influencing American politics through a variety of legal and illegal means.He even served as the president's White House chief of staff.There are many real archetypal figures behind this character.

Lobbying is widespread across the U.S. federal, state, county, and city levels. However, in Washington, the United States, lobbying is mainly directed at members of the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives that has enacted specific bills. In Washington alone, there are more than 12,000 registered lobbyists, and most of the major lobby agencies have gathered in K Street. In addition, many companies also set up offices in Washington responsible for public policy affairs.

Generally speaking, lobbyists need to have a wealth of knowledge of the US legislative process, the operations of the Congress, the object of lobbying, and the interests of the industry. Due to the need for strong government contacts and communication skills, many lobbyists are themselves federal government officials, members of Congress, or staff who have left the company. After working for many years in the Congress and the federal government, and having their own network of personal connections, they will come to the enterprise as lobbyists for a substantial salary increase. "Dragon" in "The House of Cards" used to be the assistant to the president of the lead actor and later served as chief of staff of the White House. Those who have watched this show will surely remember the underlined evaluation of Denton's famous quote.

According to the United States lobbying disclosure Act of the United States (LDA) in 1995, people who lobby at the federal level must register with the Senate and the House of Representatives. Institutions and public relations companies engaged in lobbying activities must submit reports of lobbying activities on a regular basis. The U.S. Congress stipulates that members of Congress or staff cannot receive any benefits from registered lobbyists or lobby agencies for gifts, money, hospitality, discounts, or loans. However, it is not uncommon for lawmakers and officials who are under investigation to collect bribes.

According to the Sunlight Foundation's statistics, in 2012, lobbying industries spent as much as $12.5 million on lobbying expenses per congressman (50 senators and 435 members of the House of Representatives), sufficient for their funding needs. Of course, even if the law prohibits the bribery of parliamentarians and officials, lobbyists can still influence legislators and law enforcers through many other means. In addition, when companies are inconvenient for their own business, many professional lobbying organizations are the main force in charge.

In addition to their personal connections, lobbyists can offer support to nonprofits and foundations that members of Congress support in their constituencies, in exchange for the interests of lawmakers.It even provides a high salary for government officials and members of Congress after they leave their jobs.For example, Susan Molinarie, Google's vice president for public policy and government relations, served three consecutive terms as a New York state congressman.

Political donations are heavy

Of course, it is not enough to rely solely on the human rights of the staff of the Congress before the appeal. The Congressional political lobbying activities of American companies must include actual political donations and do not hesitate to make donations to support those supervisory positions that are beneficial to themselves or serve in important regulatory agencies. Senior members of the Congress. Public data shows that last year Facebook donated $620,000 to Congress members.

The U.S. congressmen need to be re-elected every two years, and the senators need to be re-elected every six years. Reelection campaigns require large amounts of money to be spent on political propaganda and advertising. In these processes, of course, companies can not support the full support. The presidential election is a multibillion-dollar capital competition. Google alone invested 8.8 million US dollars during the 2016 presidential election.

The Sunshine Public Benefit Commission conducted a study on the 200 largest companies that invested in political lobbying in the United States during the period of 2007-2012, and found that these companies invested a total of 5.8 billion U.S. dollars in political contributions. And for every $1 invested, the resulting actual follow-up return is as high as $760.

The confidence of the Zuckerberg congressional hearing is behind this, and it is also the support of many years of political donations. The United States Senate and the House of Representatives are directly responsible for overseeing the Facebook committee. Facebook has been silently paying for years. As long as the amount of political donations is regulated by U.S. law, these "political donations" are legal.

So Facebook is also very candid in this area. They once explained to the employees the principle of “participation in politics” and “establishing relationships with elected officials who also hold open Internet concepts and are very important to the development of Facebook... Facebook will be consistent with the company’s policy position based on these candidates. , and whether they will hold positions in key committees to decide whether to support them."

For example, the US House of Representatives was responsible for the Zuckerberg hearing on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and since 2007, members of this committee have accepted Facebook's total of $381,000 in donations. The company that has made the most contributions to this committee that oversees the Internet is, of course, Google.

The committee chairman, Oregon Republican Congressman Greg Walden, received $27,000 from Facebook. In fact, only 9 of the 55 members of this House Committee have not received Facebook donations. In terms of political donations, Facebook’s per capita contribution to Republican and Democratic congressmen is basically a bowl of water. After all, the supervisory bill needs the joint promotion of both parties.

It was Walden, who represented the United States House of Representatives, and announced that he would question Zuckerberg at the hearing to emphasize the importance of important consumer data privacy issues and help all Americans better understand their online personal information.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee were jointly organized in the Senate on Tuesday for the Facebook hearing. Members of the previous committee received Facebook’s $369,000 in political contributions, while members of the latter committee received $235,000 in donations.

Of the 7 million U.S. dollars in political donations that Facebook gave to all U.S. congressional candidates, Democratic candidates won 65% of them, while Republican candidates received 33%. (Note: In addition to donkeys and two parties in the United States, there are actually other parties such as the Green Party.)

In addition to direct donations to congressmen, U.S. corporations can also donate to support the Political Action Committee (PAC) through these political fundraising agencies to support the candidates they intend to for long periods of time. Of course, lawmakers will deny that these completely legal and sunny political contributions will affect their regulatory behavior.

A Walden Representative spokesperson said that Walden’s assertion that he would be merciful to Facebook is totally unfounded. It was Walden himself insisting that Zuckerberg personally attend the hearing and explain the problem of the leakage of user data from Cambridge analysis. .

Closer relationship with Democrats

Representative Pelosi of San Francisco, the former boss of Facebook's director of public policy, Cartrine O'Neill, received a $55000 political donation from Facebook.As the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives, Pelosi did not put any pressure on Zuckerberg this time.

And last year the Facebook gave the most money to some of the Democratic congressmen,Senator Doug Jones of Alabama, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Representative Josh Gottheimerne of New Jersey, Representative Beto of TexasOi Rourkean, who didn't give Zuckerberg a look,I didn't even ask questions.

As Zuckerberg acknowledged at the congressional hearing, Facebook is in Silicon Valley, where the US political position is extremely left-leaning. Although it tries hard to maintain fairness and fairness in speech review, it still makes some mistakes to “suppress conservative speech.” The current blackout singer Diamond and Silk, which supports the US President Trump, is a mistake that he publicly apologized for at the hearing.

In fact, Facebook's close ties to the Democratic Party are no longer news.Sandberg publicly supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election and actively introduced Zuckerberg to Hillary Clinton's campaign director, John Podesta. "Zuckerberg is very keen to meet Podesta," he said."to learn how to influence public policies that Zuckerberg is very concerned about, such as immigration, education, and basic science education."If Clinton is elected, Podesta will most likely be the chief of staff, having served in both Clinton and the Obama administration.

The relationship between Sandberg and the Clinton camp dates back exactly two decades. During the Clinton presidency in 1996, when he was only 27 years old, Sandberg was then Treasury secretary.Chief of staff (equivalent to chief of staff) Larry Summers, Democrat Larry Summers, left office in 2001 to join Google.She herself is a Democrat.

Before the Capitol Hill hearing, Zuckerberg's close ties with the Democrats also sparked protests from conservatives.In places such as New York, they have heavily hung up political satirical ads that satirize Zuckerberg for his close ties to Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democratic Senate, and for conflicts of interest.

Their criticism is that Schumer’s daughter is currently working on Facebook and received Facebook’s $39,000 in donations during the 2016 reelection campaign. What is even more obvious is that in the event of Facebook data leakage, Schumer, who has always advocated protecting user privacy, has made unconventional hard-line statements.

However, there are also some Democratic congressmen this time very disgraced Zuckerberg.John Kennedy, a Massachusetts congressman who blames the Facebook user agreement for being too bad, actually owns $80, 000 in Facebook shares.Before Facebook's stock price fell sharply, also let his investment shrink.

More interestingly, at the hearing, Zuckerberg was most overwhelmed, questioning Zuckerberg for several minutes, and even rudely interrupting Zuckerberg's speech. It was Representative An Na Eshooan, a native Democratic congressman from Silicon Valley.Her minutes of aggressive questioning were even described by the media as Zuckerberg's worst moments.

However, Mr. Eishiu is one of the members of Congress who have the most political contributions on Facebook. Her office in Silicon Valley is just a 15-minute drive from Facebook. Elsie has received a total of $51,000 in Facebook donations and is a friend of Sandberg himself. Even local media in Silicon Valley can't help asking questions. Why didn't Elsie show Zuckerberg face this time? Perhaps as she reproved, the abuse of Facebook user data has directly jeopardized American political democracy (leading to the defeat of Clinton), and Zuckerberg has a moral responsibility to safeguard American democracy.


A follow-up to the Zuckerberg congressional hearing is that Google CEO Pipchai and Twitter CEO Doxi may also have to go to Congress in person. Last fall, the U.S. Congress had convened the three major Internet companies to attend hearings to question their fake news during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. However, the CEOs of the three Internet companies did not personally go. Zuckerberg sent legal counsel to the company.

To be sure, Google’s parliamentary lobbying team will only be more luxurious. The amount of lobbying funds they invested in the past three years alone has exceeded 50 million US dollars, which is the sum of Facebook’s investment in the past 10 years.

Sina Technology Zheng Jun from the United States Silicon Valley

China IT News APP

Download China IT News APP

Please rate this news

The average score will be displayed after you score.

Post comment

Do not see clearly? Click for a new code.

User comments