It seems like just yesterday that the FTC fined Facebook. Whether you agreed with the ruling or disagreed with the amount, it's not an event that is easy to forget.
Mark Zuckerberg hasn't forgotten about it either. It hasn't even been a year and he's already plotting his revenge from a bunker somewhere.
According to anonymous sources, Facebook has been quietly setting up a new lobby group. In the corporate world, that's the equivalent of a new class of Navy Seals.
The political advocacy group is yet to be officially announced but will be called American Edge, in reference to American innovation. It will not just act as Facebook's foot soldiers in Washington but also lobby for all of Silicon Valley.
This comes at a time when tech giants like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft face lots of scrutiny and calls for the government to break them up. This recent effort is in stark contrast to the public attitude of many of these companies, including Facebook, that claim to welcome regulation.
Spokesman Andy Stone confirmed Facebook's involvement in the organization: “The U.S. leads the world in technology and we should be proud of that fact and promote it.”
Republican consultant John Ashbrook said: “The American Edge Project is dedicated to the bipartisan proposition that American innovators are an essential part of U.S. economic health, national security, and individual freedoms”.
As is often the case in the world of legislation, such “feel good” titles and phrasing can conceal a very dark truth. In this case, American Edge will be funding ad campaigns to convince Washington politicians that Facebook are the good guys.
Monopolies often manipulatively plead “innovator” or “entrepreneur”, implying they're an average citizen that can't get a break because of the government. This makes average citizens believe that the government is what's stopping them as well. In reality, the biggest hindrance to small businesses can in fact be monopolies.
This isn't the first time Facebook has tried this either. Back in 2013, Zuckerberg founded lobbying group FWD.us. He flexed his influence on politicians with a focus on immigration issues and prison reform.