The head of the foundations which billionaire George Soros operates to handle much of his charitable giving tweeted that attacks on his boss by Facebook, Inc (NYSE: FB) should cause a Congressional investigation.
Patrick Gaspard, head of the Open Society Foundations,tweeted:
Open Society Foundations Retweeted Patrick Gaspard
Read @facebook’s admission that it did indeed ask the Republican-leaning PR company @definersdc to target our founder and chair, George Soros: https://osf.to/2R2Mueg
So @facebook decides to drop a turkey on Thanksgiving eve, with admission that Definers was tasked by company leadership to target and smear George Soros because he publicly criticized their out of control business model. Sorry, but this needs independent, congressional oversight
The Definers consulting firm was hired by Facebook to investigate some of its critics. In a recent explantion of the Facebook decision, Head of Communications and Policy Elliot Schrage who is left the company, wrote:
In January 2018, investor and philanthropist George Soros attacked Facebook in a speech at Davos, calling us a “menace to society.” We had not heard such criticism from him before and wanted to determine if he had any financial motivation. Definers researched this using public information.
Later, when the “Freedom from Facebook” campaign emerged as a so-called grassroots coalition, the team asked Definers to help understand the groups behind them. They learned that George Soros was funding several of the coalition members. They prepared documents and distributed these to the press to show that this was not simply a spontaneous grassroots movement.
The Definers decision, and others made by Facebook management were the target of an extensive front page story by The New York Times. The article mentions the Facebook actions against Soros.
The request for a Congressional look into Facebook activities is not idle. Some members of Congress worry that Facebook has sold data about its members to companies which use it to influence election and policy. Congress has already looked into a relationship with Cambridge Analytica, which is a data firm which worked with the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
Facebook’s shares have dropped 27% this year, to a large extent because of ongoing investigations, a number of users who have abandoned the social network because of scandals, and anxiety that revenue growth will slow. This has caused some Facebook shareholders to ask that founder Mark Zuckerberg step down as chairman but stay as CEO. Zuckerberg owns a class of shares which give him control over the company, so he can block the implementation of any such request.
Gaspard is in a long line of people who would like to see Facebook’s power curbed. It is so long that he will have to take a number