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Facebook’s new comms chief Nick Clegg criticised its ‘messianic’ outlook

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mark zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark
Zuckerberg.

Reuters / Stephen
Lam


  • Nick Clegg, Facebook’s new VP for global affairs
    and communications, has generally been extremely supportive of
    his new employer in public.
  • But he did take issue with the firm’s “messianic”
    outlook in a newspaper op-ed in 2016.
  • Clegg, formerly Britain’s deputy prime minister, will join
    the ad giant in his new role on Monday and will eventually move
    to its Menlo Park headquarters.

Facebook has hired a high-profile public figure as its new
communications chief — and it hasn’t taken long for people to dig
up everything he’s written about his new employer in the past.

Nick Clegg will join Facebook as its new VP for global affairs
and communications on Monday. As the UK’s former deputy prime
minister and, more recently, a political and social pundit, he
has amassed a fairly large back catalogue of opinion pieces and
punditry.

Including about Facebook.

Daily Telegraph journalist Asa
Bennett
was among those to highlight a 2016 op-ed Clegg wrote for The
Evening Standard
, in which he took a swipe at the image
projected by the company.


Nick Clegg
Nick
Clegg, new Facebook VP for Global Affairs and
Communications.

Leon Neal/Getty
Images


“I’m not especially bedazzled by Facebook. While I have good
friends who work at the company, I actually find the messianic
Californian new-worldy-touchy-feely culture of Facebook a little
grating,” Clegg said.

It’s a dig in what is actually a fairly supportive column for
Facebook, in which Clegg argues that CEO Mark Zuckerberg cannot
be blamed for “the poisonous bile spread about Hillary Clinton”
during the 2016 presidential election campaign. “Don’t ask him to
play God with people’s opinions,” Clegg thunders.

In fact, Clegg’s views on Facebook are generally favourable and
have been for months.

In September 2017, he wrote an op-ed for The i
newspaper titled, “In defence of Facebook
and the Silicon Valley tech giants,”
and then a couple of
months later attacked news brands for “unfair”
criticism of Facebook and Google.

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