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Facebook's Joel Kaplan faces Kavanaugh critics at emotional town hall

By Axios

Top Facebook executive Joel Kaplan made an emotional appearance at a companywide town hall Friday, and admitted that he should have consulted his superiors before attending last week's Brett KavanaRead full story

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  • This is incredibly bizarre to me —he attended an event that millions of us watched live. I don’t think Kaplan needed to ask permission to go. Also, as someone who worked with Kavanaugh he might know a different side of him and wanted to see how he answered the allegations.

    Either way, what Kaplan does

    This is incredibly bizarre to me —he attended an event that millions of us watched live. I don’t think Kaplan needed to ask permission to go. Also, as someone who worked with Kavanaugh he might know a different side of him and wanted to see how he answered the allegations.

    Either way, what Kaplan does in his free time is up to him as long as he’s not attending some Klan rally or holding up derisive signs every time Ms. Ford spoke.

  • Given that Kaplan is a personal and professional colleague of Kavanaugh, he has a right to stand with his friend at his hearings as a supporting friend whether he’s guilty or not. That’s a personal obligation. People have no right to oppose that and that Senior Facebook management and leadership are

    Given that Kaplan is a personal and professional colleague of Kavanaugh, he has a right to stand with his friend at his hearings as a supporting friend whether he’s guilty or not. That’s a personal obligation. People have no right to oppose that and that Senior Facebook management and leadership are frowning on him is a demonstration of the latent political attitudes within the company. They say many people have many different opinions, so why cannot openly respect Kaplan’s opinion then?

  • Why is it a mistake for Mr. Kaplan to support a personal friend on his personal time? He wasn’t there to represent Facebook in an official capacity. Nor did he speak publicly about the hearings. There was no wrongdoing on his part.

  • Hmmm....I understand being upset that Kaplan put your company in the middle of a political divide. As an employee for a Fortune 5 company, I cringe when my leadership gets political simply because I’m approached by friends and family and am expected to have the same opinion.

    However, if he wants to

    Hmmm....I understand being upset that Kaplan put your company in the middle of a political divide. As an employee for a Fortune 5 company, I cringe when my leadership gets political simply because I’m approached by friends and family and am expected to have the same opinion.

    However, if he wants to attend then he should be able to freely do so without penalty. Study after study shows that the most efficient workplaces are diverse, and diversity is more than sex and race. I love talking politics in my office because I can see the perspective of others and understand their decision making.

    It’s time that we get comfortable with people who don’t think like us and not expect them to ‘stay over there’

  • Facebook is now reportedly under investigation with Irish DPC, UK ICO, DOJ, SEC, FTC, FBI, 37 state AGs and the German Cartel Office.

    And their head lawyer still has time to lend in person moral support to his buddy Kavanaugh in DC.

    WTF!

  • I must say, I started reading the NewsPicks comments before I read the article. As I read the comments, I sympathize with Kaplan that in addition to our jobs, we all have family and friends who we support as people or loyal to....until I read the article. He’s the VP of Global Public Policy. When your

    I must say, I started reading the NewsPicks comments before I read the article. As I read the comments, I sympathize with Kaplan that in addition to our jobs, we all have family and friends who we support as people or loyal to....until I read the article. He’s the VP of Global Public Policy. When your role is about public policy for a company, making such a “public statement” with your appearance at the hearing is a conflict of interest.

  • What in the actual hell? Lol How is this news? This is something that should be in a company newsletter, maybe. Not on some website that pretends like I care what's going on at Facebook.

    I mean, it's not like the guy was at a gentleman's club. Chill the f*ck out, people. If one of my good friends was

    What in the actual hell? Lol How is this news? This is something that should be in a company newsletter, maybe. Not on some website that pretends like I care what's going on at Facebook.

    I mean, it's not like the guy was at a gentleman's club. Chill the f*ck out, people. If one of my good friends was accused of attempted rape, and he denied it, I'd have his back, too. And if people gave me flack for it? Well, I'd have some choice words for them.

    That's kind of what bros do.

  • What Mr Kaplan does outside of work is nobody's business. Part the the division in our nation is because we make everyone's business our own. Whatever happened to minding OUR OWN business & nobody else's?

  • Facebook even censors their own conservative employees!! No one should be surprised that they also censor conservative posts!

  • Should we now be concerned that Facebook has too many left leaning Liberals on staff tempted to negatively monitor the Conservative right? Maybe I should terminate my account.

  • I run a conservative organization - but if my chief counsel wanted to spend time showing support for a Democrat political figure I reject, that’s fine. Because I’m an adult and believe in a free and open society.

    Liberalism and conservatism are both under attack from radicalism that wants to make us

    I run a conservative organization - but if my chief counsel wanted to spend time showing support for a Democrat political figure I reject, that’s fine. Because I’m an adult and believe in a free and open society.

    Liberalism and conservatism are both under attack from radicalism that wants to make us all try to censor each other. What a tragedy.

  • How could anyone question the political neutrality of Facebook (yes said with sarcasm)

  • Is this still America?

  • He was there “in a personal capacity on a personal day,” but sitting behind Judge Kavanaugh he was still Facebook’s VP of public policy.

    There are instances where it is really hard to separate your personal views from your career (see: Kaepernick, Colin), and it’s been clearly illustrated that companies

    He was there “in a personal capacity on a personal day,” but sitting behind Judge Kavanaugh he was still Facebook’s VP of public policy.

    There are instances where it is really hard to separate your personal views from your career (see: Kaepernick, Colin), and it’s been clearly illustrated that companies have no obligation to support an employee’s free speech.

    In many ways this Facebook situation is reminiscent of Microsoft in the early 2000s: everything they do is under extraordinary scrutiny, and they don’t get the benefit of the doubt. The head of policy should be quite aware of the optics.

  • Sandberg should be more concerned with the damage Dr. Ford did to a woman’s ability to be believed. Her testimony will go down, historically, as the most unbelievable in history. I have a mother, a wife, and a daughter and the memory challenged professor has a great deal to answer for. Especially, lies

    Sandberg should be more concerned with the damage Dr. Ford did to a woman’s ability to be believed. Her testimony will go down, historically, as the most unbelievable in history. I have a mother, a wife, and a daughter and the memory challenged professor has a great deal to answer for. Especially, lies concerning her ever tutoring anyone on how to handle a lie detector examination. Federal charges should be forthcoming.

  • “Zuckerberg added that Facebook is a place where people can have diverse points of view.”

    Apparently not.

  • This is yet another reason I am done with Facebook. You had better think "correctly" these days...or else.

  • If he was there to support Dr Ford (or the Democrats), it wouldn’t be any problem! Something is very wrong here!

  • I would like to support the Democrats because I am concerned donald trump may not be the best person to lead our country but they seem to have this attitude that you must agree with everything they do and believe or they’ll throw a ‘hissy fit’ and lash out at you personally and do everything they can

    I would like to support the Democrats because I am concerned donald trump may not be the best person to lead our country but they seem to have this attitude that you must agree with everything they do and believe or they’ll throw a ‘hissy fit’ and lash out at you personally and do everything they can to shut you up, over rule you, attack your character, as they threaten to organize their masses against you. I don’t believe most people can support everything the democrats believe in because their radical side combined with this indignant attitude and their outright hatred for any difference of opinion limits their ability to appeal to the mainstream.

  • What Mr.Kaplan does on his personal time and what party affiliation he supports is his Constitutional right, as long as he's not at a KKK rally or st an Anarchist gathering discriminating against people, animals, etc.

    He's there to support a long time friend, it was not a criminal trial, not even civil

    What Mr.Kaplan does on his personal time and what party affiliation he supports is his Constitutional right, as long as he's not at a KKK rally or st an Anarchist gathering discriminating against people, animals, etc.

    He's there to support a long time friend, it was not a criminal trial, not even civil court, nor traffic court...

    If a company like Facebook is even posturing on this issue, it's sending a really bad message to shareholders, to Americans of both parties, and could face possible discrimination charges if a registered Republican was not hired due to voters card?

    Whichever way, it's not going to look good for institutional investors like my company who own lots of Facebook shares, and most of our firm and clients from both sides of the aisle are not very happy how this entire process played itself out..

    It's a conversation our board will discuss on Monday and have a vote to decide whether we want to be shareholders of a company who frown on the political believes of their employees.

    This could really be a "Bee in an Elevator" problem for Facebook...

    God Bless America and what it stands FOR!!

    Thank You,

    joe

    CEO Private Equity firm

    Impact Investors

    Pension Fund Advisors

  • Facebook is a place for people with diverse opinions and views provided they are far left of center. I tried to share the fb data breach a week or so ago and the leftys blocked it saying it was spam. Profit ahead of principle should ne their mantra.

  • While I understand the need for diversity of thought, Facebook needs to stay out of the political mainstream. As the tech world and the political spheres collide, it's becoming critical for tech workers to learn how to play at being dragged into politics. So far, everyone in tech is missing this trend

    While I understand the need for diversity of thought, Facebook needs to stay out of the political mainstream. As the tech world and the political spheres collide, it's becoming critical for tech workers to learn how to play at being dragged into politics. So far, everyone in tech is missing this trend. The most surprising thing is that the tech visionaries are the ones that need to be showing their troops how to achieve this, but they're the ones failing at it the most: Zuckerberg, Musk, etc.

  • A little latitude might be allowable. He was not defending Kavanaugh’s history.

  • Another example of the lack of tolerance for anyone that doesn’t toe the line of the far left.

  • I’ve been coaching executives on Respectful Leadership for many years and one of the most important concepts they need to understand is “senior visibility.” The more senior you are in any organization, the more you are considered the “face of the brand.” Like it or not, the public and your employees

    I’ve been coaching executives on Respectful Leadership for many years and one of the most important concepts they need to understand is “senior visibility.” The more senior you are in any organization, the more you are considered the “face of the brand.” Like it or not, the public and your employees conflate you as a person with the organization as an entity. Essentially you’re being watched and judged 24/7 not as an individual but as the walking/taking embodiment of your company. You have to very carefully manage others’ perceptions of you. It may not be right or fair in what we consider to be a free and open society, but it is reality. He could have expressed his strong support for his friend privately and avoided this.

  • This attitude illustrates what many are saying about FB and other social networks; they are overtly liberal and work to squelch conservative opinion. Must one check their personal opinions at the door when reporting to work; apparently, yes if you are conservative and work at FB.

  • Definitely not a good move by any top-ranked official at a public company under spotlight every day, let alone Facebook.

  • The irony is thick here. Facebook will now be on best bro beer buddy terms with a Supreme Court justice, something undoubtedly strategic and good for the company. That’s why they have a Bushie like Kaplan in a government relations role. To backtrack and pander to employees like it was some sort of employee

    The irony is thick here. Facebook will now be on best bro beer buddy terms with a Supreme Court justice, something undoubtedly strategic and good for the company. That’s why they have a Bushie like Kaplan in a government relations role. To backtrack and pander to employees like it was some sort of employee gone rogue is beyond disingenuous.

  • He should have used some common sense (particularly with his role in the firm). Although he should not be prevented from going, it makes the company he works for look bad. As much as he can be loyal to his friend, he also owes loyalty to his company. This article, the town hall and these discussions

    He should have used some common sense (particularly with his role in the firm). Although he should not be prevented from going, it makes the company he works for look bad. As much as he can be loyal to his friend, he also owes loyalty to his company. This article, the town hall and these discussions could have been prevented if he had used good judgment .

  • A lot of people posting in favor of Kaplan may not realize that most large companies (mine included) have codes of conduct that all employees review and agree to follow. In part, the code of conduct reminds employees that they are always representatives of the company when appearing in public. Regardless

    A lot of people posting in favor of Kaplan may not realize that most large companies (mine included) have codes of conduct that all employees review and agree to follow. In part, the code of conduct reminds employees that they are always representatives of the company when appearing in public. Regardless of good intentions that Kaplan may personally have held for appearing at Kavanaugh’s hearing, he represents Facebook, and can’t give the appearance that Facebook was choosing sides. He really should have known better.

  • Innocent until proven guilty! Ford had something happen in her youth, but black out/confusion is all part of the event, sorry to say.

  • Kaplan the person can do whatever he wants. Kaplan the Facebook lobbyist, however, brazenly supporting someone like Kavanaugh is a different matter. At a time when FB is under heavy-duty scrutiny, it can ill afford a PR disaster like this guy literally having Kavanaugh’s back.

    And you know if this situation

    Kaplan the person can do whatever he wants. Kaplan the Facebook lobbyist, however, brazenly supporting someone like Kavanaugh is a different matter. At a time when FB is under heavy-duty scrutiny, it can ill afford a PR disaster like this guy literally having Kavanaugh’s back.

    And you know if this situation were reversed and he were backing a liberal nominee, the howl from the conservative we’re-victims class would be deafening. And they would be right. But since folks are upset that a top rep for FB is backing the most divisive and temperamentally unsuitable Supreme Court, maybe ever, we all need to cool off? Cmon.

  • Time to drop Facebook....there are generations a lynched black men who would disagree with the notion that women don’t lie about sexual assault....

  • He's in trouble at work for a personal opinion that has no bearing on his work life. This is really sad.

  • “Facebook is now reportedly under investigation with Irish DPC, UK ICO, DOJ, SEC, FTC, FBI, 37 state AGs and the German Cartel Office.

    And their head lawyer still has time to lend in person moral support to his buddy Kavanaugh in DC.

    WTF!”

    And this is why Zuckerberg is up in arms.

  • So, at Facebook you’re not allowed to have your own ideas, relationships or ideals??? Typical “tolerant” liberals. Unless you tow the lefty line you’re in for trouble. Kinda like Clinton’s “Don’t ask. Don’t tell.” Conservative must keep their ideas to themselves to survive in that environment.

  • Liberals have gone nuts. Only in LibLand would this be a problem.

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