This gives whole, new meaning to the term “Facebook stalker.”
According to Buzzfeed, they’ve obtained emails that show that former White House chief strategist and current Breitbart CEO, Steve Bannon may have attempted to get a “mole” hired on with Facebook, in order to spy on the inner workings of the social media giant.
Chris Gacek, a former congressional staffer, now working for the Family Research Council, gave Bannon the idea of infiltrating Facebook.
“There is one for a DC-based ‘Public Policy Manager’ at Facebook’s What’s APP [sic] division,” Gacek, the Senior Fellow for Regulatory Affairs at the group, wrote on August 1, 2016. “LinkedIn sent me a notice about some job openings.”
“This seems perfect for Breitbart to flood the zone with candidates of all stripe who will report back to you / Milo with INTEL about the job application process over at FB,” he continued.
“Can u get on this,” Bannon instructed his staffer.
On the same email thread, Yiannopoulos forwarded Bannon’s request to a group of contracted researchers, one of whom responded that “[it] Seems dificult [sic] to do quietly without them becoming aware of efforts.”
Earlier this month, Bannon told an audience in Hong Kong that he was making efforts to have Facebook and Google regulated as “public properties.”
Most of that regulation talk comes from the left, but, Bannon.
There’s been quite a bit of focus on Facebook lately, as it has found itself mired in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Russian groups apparently bought ads and even started Facebook pages to promote Trump during the run up to the election.
Facebook has since shut down the pages and has turned over information on the companies that bought ads to Robert Mueller’s investigatory team.
The secret attempt to find bias in Facebook’s hiring process reflects longstanding conservative fears that Facebook and the other tech giants are run by liberals who suppress right-wing views both internally and on their dominant platforms. Facebook’s powerful COO, Sheryl Sandberg, is a longtime Democratic donor who endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016. In May 2016, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was forced to meet with dozens of prominent conservatives after a report surfaced that the company’s employees prevented right-leaning stories from reaching the platform’s “trending section.”
The company has sought to deflect such criticism through hiring. Its vice president of global public policy, Joel Kaplan, was a deputy chief of staff in the George W. Bush White House. And more recently, Facebook has made moves to represent the Breitbart wing of the Republican party on its policy team, tapping a former top staffer to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be the director of executive branch public policy in May.
The job listing that Bannon and his people were looking over was one for a Public Policy Manager, in Washington, D.C. It would have been working on Facebook’s WhatsApp messenger.
The job description sought candidates with law degrees, as well as ten years of public policy experience.
Does Breitbart have anybody like that?
Job responsibilities were listed as: “Develop and execute WhatsApp’s global policy strategy,” and “Represent WhatsApp in meetings with government officials and elected members.”
Apparently, Bannon’s people either didn’t make the cut, or didn’t try. Christine Turner, who previously sat on President Obama’s national security council ended up with the job.