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Report: Facebook on lobbyist hiring spree

As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg considers whether to testify before a Senate committee next month, Facebook is reportedly adding lobbyists in an effort to help shape any new policies that may come out of Washington in the wake of the ongoing Cambridge Analytica scandal and Russian election meddling. That’s according to a new Bloomberg report.

In addition to Congress, The National Association of Attorneys General is seeking answers from Zuckerberg. In high demand, he’s also been invited to testify before Parliament in the UK. The CEOs of Google and Twitter have similarly been asked to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In the wake of some of these developments, according to Bloomberg, Facebook is bulking up the already formidable ranks of its lobbyist bench:

Among the hires Facebook is seeking to make are privacy and public policy managers, a government outreach manager, associate general counsel positions, and a couple of policy managers to help draft positions on tech and video policy issues. Some of the postings say the positions could be based in either Washington or the company’s Menlo Park, California headquarters. It wasn’t clear when the jobs were posted or whether they are new positions.

Facebook is reportedly third in lobbying spending after Google’s parent, Alphabet, and Amazon. Its current lobbyist count is 40, including outside lobbyists. Facebook spent more than $11 million in lobbying in 2016, which was up almost $3 million versus the previous year, according to figures cited in the report.

Last fall, in response to increasing scrutiny surrounding its role as a central instrument of Russian election interference, Facebook hired top aides to former Obama Administration officials (Biden, Kerry), as well as the former chief of staff for Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.

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