After decades in the political realm, including two presidential campaigns, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has repeatedly proclaimed her desire to remain an active voice in American politics.
As she looks to a future in the private sector, many supporters and critics alike have speculated about what her next role could be. She recently offered one possible option during a question-and-answer session at Harvard University.
Clinton was at the Massachusetts college on Friday to accept the Radcliffe Award. During the ceremony, state Attorney General Maura Healey asked her which company she would most want to lead as chief executive officer.
“Facebook,” she replied after a brief pause.
The former first lady and U.S. senator went on to explain her reasoning.
“I just want to add, it’s the biggest news platform in the world,” she said.
Clinton acknowledged that there is plenty of valuable and informative journalism outside of the social media platform, but noted that Facebook is simply where the majority of news consumers congregate.
“I mean, we can listen to really brilliant, experienced writers like David Ignatius and we can try to keep up with the news, but most people in our country get their news, true or not, from Facebook,” she said.
Facebook executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, have faced intense scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers and others for the company’s policies regarding private user data.
Though it is just one of several tech giants facing such criticism, Facebook has made public statements pledging to provide more transparency and privacy to the billions who use it.
Others, including Clinton, have blamed the company for potentially impacting the 2016 presidential race by allowing false or misleading news stories to proliferate through its massive global reach.
While she credited the company for taking steps to address these concerns, Clinton apparently thinks she could implement additional useful ideas as its CEO.
“Now Facebook is trying to, you know, take on some of the unexpected consequences of their business model,” she said. “And I, for one, hope they get it right.”
In light of the influence of social media and the rampant distrust of news media sources in general, Clinton and others believe it is incumbent on Facebook and other companies to step up as a responsible steward.
“Because it really is critical to our democracy that people get accurate information on which to make decisions,” she said.
Clinton took aim at Facebook’s public-relations problems in her commencement speech at Yale University’s Class Day last week.
"Some of your parents and grandparents may remember flyers and bulletin boards," Hillary Clinton says at Yale University's Class Day. “It was like Facebook, but the bulletin board didn’t steal your personal information” #tictocnews pic.twitter.com/tKCU02sMpe
— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) May 20, 2018
“It was also here at Yale that I saw a flyer in the law school on a bulletin board that changed my life,” she said. “Now, some of your parents and grandparents may remember flyers and bulletin boards. For the rest of you, suffice it to say that was how we got information. It was like Facebook, but the bulletin board didn’t steal your personal information.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.