A post on Slashdot recently mentioned how Facebook’s increased political involvement has led to it establishing a political action committee:
According to a recent SFGate article, ‘Social networking giant Facebook is expanding its political footprint, confirming that it has filed the necessary paperwork to open a political action committee in advance of the 2012 elections. The move is the latest in a series of maneuvers boosting the Palo Alto company’s political profile in recent years, joining a steady rise in lobbying spending, several high-profile fundraisers and the failed statewide candidacy of one of its key officers for attorney general last year.’ With 800 million users in its social network, and with very deep pockets, we could have a new, powerful Congress-influencing entity steering American politics.
While the title of this post is obviously in jest, it’s interesting to see Facebook taking a more pro-active political stance as compared to more reactive companies like Microsoft in the 1990’s, recognizing that when you control the online profiles of 800 million people you are automatically involved in politics whether you like it or not. As social networking and our online identities become more and more intertwined with our offline identities, look for those who control information online to continue to become more involved in politics, and likewise look for politics to get more involved with that information and the privacy concerns associated with it. It is becoming more and more apparent that the companies who control the internet (like Google, Facebook, and others) build their financial bases using the information and analytics they are able to pull from their users, and this combination of money and information is certainly under the radar of our current government, along with those who seek office in future elections.