MARK ZUCKERBERG’S POLITICAL AMBITIONS ARE GRANDER THAN YOU THINK

The Hive | 8/8/2017 | Nick Bilton
k.collazi (Posted by) Level 3
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A couple months ago, I received a text message from a friend containing a brief video clip that caught me utterly by surprise. It depicted a man giving a rousing speech at Harvard in front of an audience of thousands, who listened rapturously despite the beating rain, as he enumerated the various policies that the average American needed to adapt in our increasingly volatile world. “We need affordable childcare,” the man said, before noting the plight of a younger generation who “will have to deal with tens of millions of jobs replaced by automation like self-driving cars and trucks.” It seemed less of a commencement address than a stump speech. A few seconds later, my friend texted me again to say, “I think he’s running for president.”

The man in the video was Mark Zuckerberg. And his oration at his old stomping grounds appeared to solidify a whole lot of political speculation and Internet gossip. A few months earlier, a whisper campaign began to mount regarding the Facebook C.E.O.’s potential political aspirations. Zuckerberg, after all, was sending out some strong signals: Facebook had updated the company’s proxy statement to allow him to run for office and still maintain control of his company. Then Zuckerberg, a former atheist, said that he believed religion is “very important.”. And then there was the most controversial intimation—Zuckerberg’s New Year’s resolution to meet “people in every state in the U.S.,” which spurred a series of bizarre campaign trail-style imagery. At the time, I wondered aloud if Zuckerberg, who turns 35 in two years, would indeed (try to) be our next president. In a funny way, it almost seemed like a demotion. Yet over and over again, various sources told me that Zuckerberg had grander plans in life and wanted to be “emperor.”

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