Facebook's Zuckerberg congratulated Trump after 2016 election: report

Facebook's Zuckerberg congratulated Trump after 2016 election: report
© Greg Nash

Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergButtigieg: Political leaders need 'some kind of literacy' to regulate tech giants Facebook restricts livestreaming in response to New Zealand attacks Hillicon Valley: WhatsApp issues fix after spyware breach | Pompeo warns Russia against interference | Florida gov confirms election hacking | Federal labor board's lawyer calls Uber drivers contractors | Graham zeroes in on 5G security MORE congratulated President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens MORE after his election victory in 2016 in a private, previously unreported phone call, according to a BuzzFeed News article published Thursday.

While many CEOs, including IBM’s Ginni Rometty, publicly congratulated Trump after his Election Day victory, few of them provided services that played such a pivotal role in Trump’s campaign operations.

Facebook also considered the campaign an "innovator" when it came to marketing on its platform, according to internal documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.

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According to the memos and presentations, Facebook ultimately took advertising methods used by the Trump campaign and used it as a part of its own marketing model that it uses to assess its advertising.

The documents paint Trump as not just a Facebook user but a valued customer, according to BuzzFeed.

Facebook's role in the 2016 election continues to be a topic of debate. The company has faced criticism for how its platform was manipulated by Russian trolls seeking to interfere in U.S. politics, and for its lax policies that allowed Cambridge Analytica, a British research firm used by the Trump campaign, to improperly harvest data on 87 million Facebook users.

“While we offer insights into how our products work and provide technical support, campaigns make their own decisions about how to use our tools,” Katie Harbath, Facebook’s global politics and government outreach director, said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

Reports by BuzzFeed and others news outlets suggest the Trump campaign did a better job than the Clinton campaign when it came to using the tools and support provided by Facebook.

Facebook provided support staff to the Trump and Clinton campaigns, which had been previously reported.

“In reality, Facebook loved us during the campaign,” Gary Coby, the 2016 Trump campaign director of digital advertising and fundraising and RNC director of advertising, told BuzzFeed News. “Their team was heavily involved because it was a great learning experience and Hillary's team was not doing much.”

Trump campaign staffers that BuzzFeed News spoke with said they were disappointed with Facebook for not publicly acknowledging their work.

"I believe Facebook was a great platform for the president," campaign digital director Brad Parscale, who is now serving as Trump's 2020 campaign manager, told BuzzFeed News. "I'm completely disappointed that Facebook won't step up and announce to the world how well we used the platform and that we changed the way Facebook advertising will work in the future."