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Facebook Hired a Full-Time Pollster To Monitor Zuckerberg's Approval Ratings (theverge.com) 109

According to The Verge, Facebook hired a full-time pollster to track Mark Zuckerberg's approval ratings last year as the young CEO was making his 50-state tour across the country. The pollster, Tavis McGinn, reportedly "decided to leave the company after only six months after coming to believe that Facebook had a negative effect on the world." From the report: It was April, and Facebook was caught up in the fallout of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. After initially discounting the possibility that fake news had contributed to Donald Trump's victory, Facebook acknowledged that Russia-linked groups had spent more than $100,000 on political advertising. Zuckerberg undertook a nationwide listening tour modeled after a modern political campaign. McGinn would fill another role common to political campaigns: leading an ongoing poll operation dedicated to tracking minute changes in Zuckerberg's public perception. "It was a very unusual role," McGinn says. "It was my job to do surveys and focus groups globally to understand why people like Mark Zuckerberg, whether they think they can trust him, and whether they've even heard of him. That's especially important outside of the United States."

McGinn tracked a wide range of questions related to Zuckerberg's public perception. "Not just him in the abstract, but do people like Mark's speeches? Do they like his interviews with the press? Do people like his posts on Facebook? It's a bit like a political campaign, in the sense that you're constantly measuring how every piece of communication lands. If Mark's doing a barbecue in his backyard and he hops on Facebook Live, how do people respond to that?" Facebook worked to develop an understanding of Zuckerberg's perception that went beyond simple "thumbs-up" or "thumbs-down" metrics, McGinn says. "If Mark gives a speech and he's talking about immigration and universal health care and access to equal education, it's looking at all the different topics that Mark mentions and seeing what resonates with different audiences in the United States," he says. "It's very advanced research."

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Facebook Hired a Full-Time Pollster To Monitor Zuckerberg's Approval Ratings

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  • OMG!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Tuesday February 06, 2018 @10:03PM (#56080497)

    Facebook Hired a Full-Time Pollster To Monitor Zuckerberg's Approval Ratings

    Jesus, people, who the fuck cares?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      All those Hawaiian people he kicked off their own island probably care.
      • Re:OMG!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2018 @10:21PM (#56080555)

        All those Hawaiian people he kicked off their own island probably care.

        Talk about fake news. He never kicked anyone off. His property surrounded a bunch of other properties. Mark owed these people access rights across his property. With one exception, no one had been using these properties or paying taxes on them. It appears that most of the owners never even knew they owned the properties. Mark didn't force anyone to sell. He offered people money for something they didn't know they even owned. We are talking about plots of land that haven't been used in 2 or 3 generations. I'd be grateful if someone gave me $200 for 1/25 of a plot of land that my grand parents abandoned, before I was born, in a place I'll never visit. The worst he did was force the tax office and land registry office to clean up their act.

    • I agree. Zuckerberg might be OCD about his "public perception" but I'm sure not. Why is this here?

      • Zuckerberg might be OCD about his "public perception"

        His net worth is $73B. If having a better public image adds even 0.001% to that, then paying a pollster $100k/yr to track his popularity is a no-brainer.

        This isn't OCD, it is just good business sense.

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        I agree. Zuckerberg might be OCD about his "public perception" but I'm sure not. Why is this here?

        GREETINGS FELLOW HUMAN! [knowyourmeme.com] I too enjoy walking on my human legs. When doing so, I normally lead this sub-optimally intelligent canine to greater things. It's similar to how I shall lead my fellow humans after I become president!

    • Marixism (Score:2, Insightful)

      by labnet ( 457441 )

      Because the Zuk has access to a billion eyeballs, is an SJW, and has political aspirations.

      I've been listening a bit lately to Jordan Peterson, a Canadian psychology professor.
      He thinks SJW's and their identity politics are really similar to the marxist ideology that caused so much suffering in Russia.
      Thus I think we need to be playing close attention to people like the Zuk.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Uh

        So that's how it works? You finally found a real world example of someone you can call an SJW out loud and it's a flailing corporate bully trying to improve his personal image as if that'll save his company's business? You find an academic who supports you and he's a joke ideologue who can't do basic math but considers himself a measured thinker?

        You need help, mate... and you need to stop telling yourself what you feel is cynicism.

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        Don't worry. I'm sure the trolls will be out any time telling you that you're a neo-nazi, white nationalist, for daring to post the name of one of the foremost clinical psychologists in the world. (Because he's also a neo-nazi, white nationalist ... for reasons)

        p.s. Clean your room.

        • by labnet ( 457441 )

          Haha. Clean your room!
          I was just telling my 3 boys about that little peterson nugget last night.

      • Despite my liberal leanings, I highly distrust someone like Zuckerberg, especially when they're trying so hard to manufacture a reputation with particular demographics and using advanced statistical research to do so. It's like the left-wing version of Trump. When a politician's primary concern is their ego, they cannot be trusted to do the right thing when a difficult decision must be made (unfortunately, that means most politicians cannot be trusted).

        As for your whole "SJW" stuff—come on. Using a dy

        • by labnet ( 457441 )

          I think you really should listen to some of Petersons material. He is one the best minds thinking about this subject.

          The strategy of the hard left is to stratify people into classes of 'victims'. For example, transgender people are victims, so Canada has legislated that in certain circumstances you must use some new made up pronouns such as Ze. If you don't there could be a fine. If you don't pay the fine, I assume you could go to jail.
          His argument is that just as Stalin made people subservient to the state

        • SJWism is just Marxism with "race" instead of "class" as its founding tenet.
      • He thinks SJW's and their identity politics are really similar to the marxist ideology that caused so much suffering in Russia.

        What does he think about Trumpians and their identity politics?

        • This is literally Whataboutism.
          • It's an honest question. I'm curious what someone who analyzes and thinks about identity politics on one side thinks about how the other side applies the same concept. I have my own opinion, obviously, which is that both sides focus far too much on tribal identities and not enough on substantive issues, but I'm curious about the opinions of others.
        • Exactly the same.

          • Exactly the same.

            He thinks Trumpism and right-wing identity politics are really similar to Marxism?

    • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

      You should care. I have a sneaking suspicion Zuck is going to try his hand at politics at some point. Knowing how to electioneer is a valuable skill that normally cannot be gained without trying (and generally failing) on the real stage.

      • You should care. I have a sneaking suspicion Zuck is going to try his hand at politics at some point. Knowing how to electioneer is a valuable skill that normally cannot be gained without trying (and generally failing) on the real stage.

        Uh, he's already proven that he doesn't have to travel beyond his Facebook ad engine to manipulate his "dumb fuck" audience into voting him into office...You don't even have to be wealthy when you've got a couple billion customers at your disposal.

    • and he has staggering political power and wealth. So yeah, we should care. He's in a position to exert enormous influence on your life and mine. And very likely not for the better.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Mark Zuckerberg is a sociopathic, evil person, and his life's work is a stain upon humanity.

  • "decided to leave the company after only six months after coming to believe that Facebook had a negative effect on the world."

    Thank god even FB people are coming to their senses.

  • by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2018 @10:35PM (#56080609)
    Zuckerberg for president! He would be so much better than the thin skinned narcissist we have now ... oh, wait.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2018 @10:38PM (#56080623) Journal

    In other narcissist news, I am planning a massive military parade in my own honor. OK, it's not exactly massive. It's just me and the dog, but we will be wearing our dress uniforms and I will be carrying a boom box blasting the Königgrätzer Marsch. It commences as soon as I finish this highball.

  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2018 @10:57PM (#56080697)

    I don't know if he's planning on a run for President, but the pollster (and all the other campaigning stuff) would still be a good idea from a business sense.

    Of the big three (Apple, Google, Facebook) Facebook is both the most vulnerable and the most closely identified with its CEO. Facebook's biggest asset is the "everyone is on it" network effect, but it's a lot easier to find someone online than it was 5 years ago, and it's a lot easier for someone to find a new social network than it is to build a new Google or iPhone.

    If Zuckerberg becomes genuinely unpopular the company could be in major trouble very quickly.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      a new social network

      Righto. So easy, even Google can't do it.

      • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2018 @11:33PM (#56080805)

        a new social network

        Righto. So easy, even Google can't do it.

        It's easy to build a social network, Google+, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.

        The hard part is becoming the default "I want to get hold of this random person, on which service do I look for them".

        Facebook became that default by feeling less sketchy than MySpace. But if Facebook starts feeling sketchy another service is going to become the new default and Facebook will become the modern equivalent of Hotmail.

        • The hard part is to create a social network that can become the default without Facebook just buying it. I know a lot of people who have stopped using Facebook and switch to. . .Instagram. They don't even realize it's the same company.

          I'm pretty sure that the next big thing will be less sketchy for a hot minute before Facebook, Google, or Microsoft buys it. I think the only way for social networking to work without the side effect of evil would be as some decentralized, peer-to-peer type of open source app

    • I don't know, I think he's going to run against Trump in 2020. America's first Jewish president, it's about time.
  • by Grieviant ( 1598761 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2018 @11:30PM (#56080797)

    Look at the last 15 articles on the front page. These guys are pimping every article coming out of the verge, guardian, vice, recode and nbc. Only a couple of them have an actual submitter, and in each case it's "an anonymous reader". There are of course 10+ websites to choose from covering every one of these topics.

    Enough with the leftist tech site circlejerk.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I think Mark's behavior is the natural outcome of someone who has attained such a level of wealth that one has exhausted all possible things a person could buy to attain them happiness. If you can look at his situation then from that perspective it is natural to ask, what then is next for such a person to do? They have bought (or can buy) any material possession they desire but what they can't buy (at least to an appreciable extent) is for someone to 'love' them. Once you've reached the point where your mon

  • A guy who made his billions tracking what people like and don't like had to hire a polster to tell him if people like him. But not just like him, more specifically whether they like his facebook posts.

    Just plain wow. And also: who the hell actually uses facebook?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      More importantly -- who the hell actually uses facebook for news?

  • If Zuckerberg wants that much information in that much detail, then I assume he's at least contemplating running for office. Given his fortune, his profile, and the phenomenon of having Trump as president, then I also assume that the Zuck has his eye on the Presidency.

    We've had celebrities in politics before - Reagan, Franken, Schwarzenegger, et al - but Trump really broke the mold by aiming for, and landing, the highest office in the land without having held any lower office. Recently there were rumors tha

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