Rumors about the possible public office aspirations of Mark Zuckerberg have swirled around for quite some time, beginning around the time of the last election cycle. And while the choice to run for office would certainly make sense for the ambitious billionaire, who has already began making strong forays into the civic realm. After all, the office of POTUS is pretty much the only place he could rise to at this point.
Lately, though, the idea of the Facebook founder trying to become President Zuckerberg has seemed like an legitimate possibility. The first clue was his 2017 challenge, where the CEO set the goal of visiting all 50 states this year. What’s more, he phrased his declaration of intent just like someone who’s trying to put himself in a position where people would trust him enough to run the country.
‘Going into this challenge, it seems we are at a turning point in history. For decades, technology and globalization have made us more productive and connected. This has created many benefits, but for a lot of people it has also made life more challenging. This has contributed to a greater sense of division than I have felt in my lifetime. We need to find a way to change the game so it works for everyone.’
Zuckerberg recently posted another Facebook post with a similar “presidential” vibe.
‘Heading back home after a great few days in Texas. Today we drove down to Waco and stopped in smaller towns along the way. I had lunch with community leaders in Waxahachie who shared their pride in their home and their feelings on a divided country. I met young moms in West who moved back to their town because they want their kids to be raised with the same values they grew up with. And I met with ministers in Waco who are helping their congregations find deeper meaning in a changing world… We may come from different backgrounds, but we all want to find purpose and authenticity in something bigger than ourselves.’
Zuckerberg also told his Facebook friends that he’ll be starting a page to catalogue his 2017 journey. This could definitely fulfill a valuable role for a potential candidate.
There was also another piece of evidence, a small line of text buried in a Facebook SEC filing.
‘Mr. Zuckerberg’s leave of absence or resignation would not constitute a Voluntary Resignation if it were in connection with his serving in a government position or office.’
Zuckerberg will be 36 in 2020, putting him barely above the minimum age to occupy the office of president. The country may be delighted to have a younger man with some brains and vision in the oval office after the embarrassment that was the 2016 presidential election. But his candidacy and the insane level of power that he wields as the CEO of one of the most powerful data collection companies on the planet raises a whole slew of ethical issues.
Facebook has the capacity to manipulate and grab the attention of millions of people at a time, and has many methods by which they could skew the election. What’s more, these concerns don’t even take into account the insane amount of information the company must have about Americans.
There’s no reason to assume that Facebook would attempt to swing the election in favor of their CEO, but then again, unless Trump manages to do some pretty amazing things very soon, there’s little reason to believe they’d have to.
Featured image via Getty/Justin Sullivan.