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Clinton is largest beneficiary of Facebook donations

Clinton is largest beneficiary of Facebook donations
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Facebook employees as individuals have donated more than $114,000 to Democratic front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAmerica departs Afghanistan as China arrives Young, diverse voters fueled Biden victory over Trump McConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' MORE this election cycle, by far the most of any presidential candidate. 

That is nearly $100,000 more than they donated to Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDemocrats cool on Crist's latest bid for Florida governor Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE, who had the second-most donations from employees of the social media giant. The Republican brought in $16,604 from Facebook employees before dropping out of the race in March.

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The numbers are based on itemized contributions that candidates report to the Federal Election Commission. 

The tally only reflects itemized contributions, so it is not a perfect reflection of the number of Facebook employees who donated. Candidates are not required to give information about contributions less than $200. For example, Democratic hopeful Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Outrage rises among liberals over Israel On The Money: Biden says workers can't turn down job and get benefits | Treasury launches state and local aid | Businesses jump into vax push Symone Sanders 'hurt' at being passed over for press secretary: report MORE has raised more than $182 million, but only about $66 million of those donations include information about the people who donated. 

The Hill’s tally comes as Facebook battles accusations from some former contractors that the company suppressed conservative news on its “trending” feature that has prime placement on its many platforms. The company said it takes the charges seriously but “found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true.”

The Hill’s review found that about 78 employees who work on engineering, communications, public policy, strategy, marketing, human resources and other areas have donated to Clinton. 

That includes at least seven vice presidents at the company, including Tom Stocky, whose team is in charge of the trending feature. The company has about 13,600 employees.

“We are proud that, in 2015, the US election was the most talked-about subject on Facebook, and we want to encourage that robust political discussion from all sides,” Stocky wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday defending the trending feature.

The allegations in a Gizmodo story this week about Facebook curation were made by former contractors who worked for the company to help run the trending feature. 

There is nothing nefarious about political donations to a candidate. Presidential candidates in both parties have raised tens of millions of dollars from employees at major companies across every industry.

But Facebook has become an important place for voters to get news. And as it continues to be a major driver of news traffic, the political leanings of its management will likely come under greater scrutiny. 

“With 167 million US Facebook users reading stories highlighted in the trending section, Facebook has the power to greatly influence the presidential election,” the Republican National Committee wrote in a petition on Monday. 

The Hill’s review also found that Sanders recorded at least $12,000 in donations from Facebook employees. Before dropping out of the GOP race, Jeb Bush listed $3,225, Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls Sherrod Brown calls Rand Paul 'kind of a lunatic' for not wearing mask Overnight Health Care: WHO-backed Covax gets a boost from Moderna MORE listed $3,150, John Kasich listed $2,700, and Ben Carson listed $250.

Niether presumptive Republican nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE nor Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFormer CEO Glenn Youngkin wins Virginia GOP gubernatorial convention The Memo: Outrage rises among liberals over Israel Cheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts MORE, who dropped out of the GOP race recently, listed any donations from Facebook employees in their filings. 

Combined, the company and its employees donated far more to Democrats than Republicans in the 2012 presidential cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That has carried over to 2016.

During the midterm election cycle for 2014, donations from Facebook were about even for both parties.