- REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg clearly doesn’t intend to distance his company from board member and Donald Trump supporter Peter Thiel.
In an internal memo recently distributed to Facebook employees, Zuckerberg answered “questions and concerns” about Thiel’s involvement in politics.
“We care deeply about diversity,” he wrote. “That’s easy to say when it means standing up for ideas you agree with. It’s a lot harder when it means standing up for the rights of people with different viewpoints to say what they care about. That’s even more important.”
The memo, which was shared by Zuckerberg on an internal version of Facebook for employees, was first posted on Hacker News and then surfaced by Boing Boing. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed its authenticity to Business Insider.
Thiel, an early Facebook investor and current board member, has been a vocal supporter of Trump and recently donated $1.25 million to his campaign.
Here’s Zuckerberg’s full memo:
“I want to quickly address the questions and concerns about Peter Thiel as a board member and Trump supporter.
“We care deeply about diversity. That’s easy to say when it means standing up for ideas you agree with. It’s a lot harder when it means standing up for the rights of people with different viewpoints to say what they care about. That’s even more important.
“We can’t create a culture that says it cares about diversity and then excludes almost half the country because they back a political candidate. There are many reasons a person might support Trump that do not involve racism, sexism, xenophobia or accepting sexual assault. It may be because they believe strongly in smaller government, a different tax policy, health care system, religious issues, gun rights or any other issue where he disagrees with Hillary.
“I know there are strong views on the election this year both in the US and around the world. We see them play out on Facebook every day. Our community will be stronger for all our differences – not only in areas like race and gender, but also in areas like political ideology and religion.
“That’s ultimately what Facebook is about: giving everyone the power to share our experiences, so we can understand each other a bit better and and connect us a little closer together.”