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Mark Zuckerberg Throws Shade at Donald Trump During Keynote Speech

Illustration for article titled Mark Zuckerberg Throws Shade at Donald Trump During Keynote Speech

Every year, Facebook gathers thousands of developers and business people to talk about the future of its company at a conference called F8. The event is typically used to host discussions about photos, video, sharing, and other products critical to the company’s bottom line. But this year, Facebook decided to try something different.

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Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent roughly five minutes denouncing the policies of presidential hopeful Donald Trump during the opening of this year’s F8 keynote. While Zuckerberg never mentioned Trump by name, he challenged many of the ideas that have bolstered Trump’s presidential campaign, including the idea of building a wall between the US and Mexico.

“As I look around the world, I’m starting to see people and nations turning inward, against the idea of a connected world and a global community,” Zuckerberg said.

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“I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as ‘others.’ I hear them calling for blocking free expression, for slowing immigration, for reducing trade, and in some cases even for cutting access to the internet,” he said.

“It takes courage to choose hope over fear,” Zuckerberg said as he began winding down his rant. “People will always call you naive but it’s this hope and optimism that’s behind every important step forward.”

This isn’t the first time Zuckerberg has been outspoken about politics. The 31-year-old entrepreneur famously visited the United Nations last September in order to talk about challenges of providing internet in remote locations. He’s also declared that he’ll donate a majority of his wealth to charity. What happens next in his ongoing feud with Trump remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: Zuckerberg is not a fan of Donald Trump’s policies.

Technology editor at Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

I don’t like Donald Trump at all (I felt like I had to get that out of the way).

Still, this kind of talk worries me. There is real danger of big data, and especially social networks, skewing the political landscape more than money ever could. The ability to effectively target specific people with tailored messages, and skew their perceptions by only showing only certain information consistently is far more impactful than a Super-Pac spending 10s of millions of dollars on traditional ads. If companies like Facebook have an intrinsic bias, it can have an undue impact on political opinion.

I think any discussion of campaign finance reform in the future is going to have to include big data