Well … so much for taking it to the streets. It’s no surprise that the 2012 campaign will play out online, that the GOP is positioning to dominate Facebook politics, or that Mark Zuckerberg is happy to play along.
Ted Ullyot, a former counsel to George W. Bush, is general counsel and a vice president at Facebook. His administration colleague Joel Kaplan, a former deputy chief of staff at the White House, is the vice president of U.S. public policy for the site. Also in the policy shop are Katie Harbath, a former Republican National Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee digital guru; Myriah Jordan, the former counsel to North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr; and Tucker Bounds, the national spokesman for John McCain during his 2008 presidential run.
It’s pretty clear that we can’t rely on our government or corporately owned and sponsored media not to spin critical news and fabricate propaganda – a pitiful Pulitzer Prize winning truth. But how illusive is the online information so many people have turned to in its place? A general lack of accountability and misinformation is what we’re getting use to, but together with the changing nature of “filter bubbles” that restrict news, preselect search results and limit or slow down access to a broad range of connections, will we find election information further marginalized by the internet?
Once an election has been decided by the court over hanging chads and other strange happenings, people may be cautious about going into an election cycle via redirected information and potentially hackable voting machines. GOP positioning with Facebook is not altogether alarming, but when the reports begin to overlap with Facebook’s high-priced hacker hiring, we might want to stay on our toes.