Several factors led to Trump’s win, and one we don’t really understand the nuances of is Facebook. A digital advertiser and fundraiser with the Trump campaign tweeted about how key the social media site was to Trump’s win, shedding some light on its impact as BuzzFeed first reported. In the tweet, Gary Coby goes so far as to say Facebook employee James Barnes was a “MVP” for the campaign. Coby says the social media platform was key to helping raise money and develop messaging.
That sentiment is being echoed by other Trump campaign staffers. “Facebook provided a critical role of finding new potential donors and moving them over to our donor database,” digital director, Brad Parscale, told BuzzFeed. “Facebook was the single most important platform to help grow our fundraising base.”
On top of that, many are concerned fake news spreading on Facebook could have influenced voters. President Barack Obama even raised the issue hours before the election.
“And people, if they just repeat attacks enough, and outright lies over and over again, as long as it’s on Facebook and people can see it, as long as its on social media, people start believing it,” he said at a rally for Hillary Clinton on Monday according to Business Insider. “And it creates this dust cloud of nonsense.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has denied fake news on the site influenced the outcome of the election, but is vowing to do more to crack down on the misinformation reaching users.
We may not know the full impact Facebook had on the election, but between the fake news, algorithms determining the media we consume, and powerful tools for fundraising and messaging, it’s clear the social media site played a significant role—perhaps one that swayed the election. No company—no matter where its leaders fall on the political spectrum—should have that kind of power.