Certainly a new way to predict elections.
Politico, the politics-focused media outlet, is teaming up with Facebook to take a look at Facebook users’ opinions of Republican presidential hopefuls.
It’s all happening during the lead-up to the next primary, being held Jan. 21 in South Carolina. Every time a Facebook user posts about a candidate, Facebook’s team will pick it up and determine whether the mention expresses favorable sentiment about the candidate. To do that, they’ll be armed with new software that researchers use to determine opinion from text. They’ll analyze every mention from Thursday until the primary.
In turn, they’ll hand that data over exclusively to Politico, whose journalists will add insight and commentary. The first round of data is already available.
Go and check it out!
OK. Facebook is a big company with many employees and will exert its influence much like other big corporations.
Facebook confirmed it filed paperwork on Monday to start its own political action committee.
“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,” said a spokesman via email.
The firm acknowledged the formation of the PAC after reports emerged of Facebook registering the domain names FBPAC.org and FBPAC.us. Creating a PAC is just the latest step in Facebook’s continued expansion of its presence in Washington, but this is the first time the firm will back candidates.
Facebook is likely looking to avoid the type of Washington scrutiny that has affected other firms like Microsoft and Google, which is currently under a Federal Trade Commission antitrust probe. The perception Google was previously sympathetic towards Democrats hasn’t helped with the GOP in charge of the House.
Facebook executives like other Silicon Valley/Northern California firms probably lean LEFT, but will want to avoid the stigma of playing on one side and taking the heat. But, the PAC will be a vehicle for Facebook employees to support the candidates that support their company – just like Apple Computer or Verizon.
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