A study conducted by TheBlaze found that Facebook hires people who formerly worked for Democratic or liberal-leaning politicians or organizations at more than twice the rate it hires those who worked for Republican or conservative-leaning politicians or organizations.
Here's what we found
Out of the 200 Facebook employees that we reviewed, 48 worked for liberal politicians or organizations. These included:
- The Obama White House (10 people)
- The Obama State Department (5 people)
- Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.)
- Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.
- Reps. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), Lois Capps (D-Calif.), Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
- The Clinton Foundation
- Hillary for America
- Planned Parenthood
- The Center for American Progress
- The Human Rights Campaign
While people who worked in conservative or libertarian politics were hired by Facebook, they were employed in less than half the numbers. We found 21 people in our search who had past experience in right-leaning politics. These included people who had worked at:
- The Bush White House (2 people)
- The Trump State Department (1 person, who claimed to be currently employed at both Facebook and the State Department)
- Gov. Rick Snyder (R-Mich.)
- Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.)
- Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), George Radanovich (R-Calif.), Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Mimi Walters (R-Calif.)
- National Republican Senatorial Committee
- National Republican Congressional Committee
- Americans for Prosperity
While fewer in number, some of these former workers in Republican politics did hold prominent roles at the company, including Facebook's Vice President for U.S. Public Policy who had formerly worked in the Bush White House.
The rest of the 131 employees we looked at had no obvious past political work experience. Many of them had worked at other tech companies including Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Uber, Apple, LinkedIn, Hulu, and Yahoo. A small minority of these remaining employees had some experience in the government that was not obviously political, including one employee who had worked in the FCC for 23 years under presidents from both parties.
Facebook employs more than 35,000 people globally. However, many of these employees work in IT, software development, or the social media giant's legal department, areas which are less likely to influence the company politically. To make this project both manageable and as scientific as possible, TheBlaze only focused on Facebook employees based in the United States who worked in Public Policy, Government Affairs, Government and Politics Outreach, Content Strategy, or related jobs which might have some influence over the content or political biases on the site.
We also made sure not to cherry pick employees. This study looked at LinkedIn searches for the categories listed above, and worked through those search results in order. We also only looked at previous employment listed on LinkedIn profiles. If someone worked for a campaign, politician, or political organization and left it off their profile they would not appear in this search.
This study was inspired by a similar study conducted by Spinquark, which you can read here.