- Facebook executives got 110% bonuses in the second half of 2020, according to a new SEC filing.
- The bonuses were partially tied to Facebook’s “election integrity” efforts.
- CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t participate in the employee bonus program.
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s two lieutenants got a big pay day for their work around last year’s election: COO Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Wehner got just shy of $1 million in bonus compensation for the second half of 2020.
Those bonuses, awarded at 110%, were at least partially tied to “election integrity efforts in connection with the U.S. 2020 elections,” according to an SEC filing from the company first spotted by The Information.
Ahead of the November 2020 elections, Facebook rolled out a number of measures intended to curb misinformation and promote voting.
The company added labels to all posts about voting that came from federal elected officials and candidates, it paused political ad buying for months, and opened an information center intended to inform users about voting laws. Those efforts were apparently considered a success if the bonus payouts are any indication.
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In the years following the 2016 US presidential election, Facebook struggled with how to moderate speech and advertising from politicians and political campaigns.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has remained steadfast in his argument that political advertising is equivalent to political speech, and that political speech shouldn’t be moderated by the social media giant.
“In a democracy it’s really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying so they can make their own judgments,” Zuckerberg said in a late 2019 interview with CBS This Morning cohost Gayle King. “I don’t think that a private company should be censoring politicians or news.”
Following the 2020 US election, as former President Donald Trump repeatedly insisted that the election had been “stolen” and Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building, Facebook took the unprecedented step of outright banning Trump from its platforms.
“The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,” Zuckerberg said in January. “The risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”
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