Facebook reportedly reached out to conservative groups last week to appeal for help as CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Democrats press FTC to resolve data privacy 'crisis' House Oversight Democrat presses Facebook for 'failure' to protect users Hillicon Valley — Facebook 'too late' curbing climate falsities MORE was preparing to testify before Congress over its data practices.
A Facebook public policy manager, Lori Moylan, emailed conservative groups an invitation for a sit-down with the company to discuss policy, according to emails obtained by Politico.
"It would be incredibly helpful for our privacy team to hear from you — we'd love to talk through any ideas/advice you have and run our thinking by you as well,” she continued.
The company’s outreach to conservative groups came last week as Zuckerberg was prepping for heated congressional testimony in front of House and Senate panels.
The company is also dealing with pressure from Europe over new GDPR regulations which will force the company to change some of its data and privacy practices, as well as scrutiny from British lawmakers who want Zuckerberg to testify regarding how consulting firm Cambridge Analytica improperly harvested data from 87 million Facebook users.
Facebook’s outreach to the right comes at a time when it is fielding criticism from across the political spectrum.
Democrats are frustrated with Facebook’s data collection and privacy practices as well as how Russian trolls manipulated its platform in an attempt to influence U.S. politics during the elections.
Some Republicans share these concerns, while others, like Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSchumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks Bipartisan senators to hold hearing on 'toxic conservatorships' amid Britney Spears controversy GOP senators seek to block dishonorable discharges for unvaccinated troops MORE (R-Texas), are more frustrated with what they believe to be a pattern of anti-conservative bias by Facebook and other technology companies.