On a day when President Obama’s visit paralyzed much of Hollywood’s traffic, Facebook has filed the paperwork to form its own political action committee. Reports also surfaced Monday that Facebook had registered the domain names FBPAC.org and FBPAC.us.
The social media giant has had a voice in Washington D.C. for the past few years, but this is the first time it will be able to support specific candidates through direct financial donations. Records show Facebook spent $207,878 on lobbying activities in 2009, $351,390 in 2010, and $550,000 in the first half of 2011.
“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 emailed to several news outlets in response to inquiries.
Additionally, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the three most important House republicans, visited Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., where chief operations officer Sheryl Sandberg hosted a town hall meeting with employees and guests.a
According to The Hill, three politicians told the Facebook assemblage that communicating through Facebook, Twitter and other websites allows them to bypass the mainstream media and discuss the issues that they believe really matter. Social media also allows constituents to more quickly communicate their thoughts and concerns to their representatives, they said.
Politico – http://tinyurl.com/3f7yyko
New York Times’ The Caucus blog – http://preview.tinyurl.com/3zbcglm
Seattle Times – http://tinyurl.com/3nybonz
Photo shows Eric Cantor(R-Va) and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in screen grab from the live chat