At least seven former high-ranking employees of Facebook or the charity run by its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, have secured positions in Joe Biden’s presidential transition team, despite Democratic leaders labeling the social media giant among the biggest threats to American democracy.
Biden announced Friday that Facebook’s former director of public policy, Louisa Terrell, would direct his White House Office of Legislative Affairs, which will put her in charge of advancing Biden’s agenda in Congress.
Terrell, who lobbied for Facebook from 2011 to 2013, currently oversees legislative affairs for the Biden transition team.
Terrell’s appointment to the Biden administration post comes shortly after Biden campaign spokesman Bill Russo said in a now-deleted tweet that Facebook was “shredding the fabric of our democracy” by allowing “disinformation” to spread following the presidential election.
Democratic National Committee official Patrick Stevenson tweeted after the election that Facebook and the Republican Party are “the two biggest institutional threats to our democracy.”
the two biggest institutional threats to our democracy are the Republican Party and Facebook https://t.co/zgXbGq4p4s
— Patrick Stevenson (@stevensonpj) November 11, 2020
Biden told The New York Times‘ editorial board in January that Zuckerberg is “a real problem.”
“I’ve never been a big fan of Facebook, as you probably know,” Biden said. “I’ve never been a big Zuckerberg fan.”
The Biden transition team told Politico on Monday that it supports the criticisms the campaign levied against Facebook.
Politico previously reported that at least two former Facebook board members have positions on Biden’s transition team.
Biden transition co-chair Jeff Zients served on the Facebook board of directors from 2018 to early 2020, and Erskine Bowles, who held a seat on Facebook’s board from 2011 to 2019, serves as an advisor to the transition team, according to Politico.
Politico also reported that a former Facebook executive, Jessica Hertz, was named general counsel for Biden’s transition team in September, an appointment that was criticized by progressive Democrats.
And at least three individuals serving on the Biden transition’s agency review teams have recently worked for Zuckerberg’s charity, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
The Biden transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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