Thursday 17 August 2017

Facebook's lobbying and facing up to truth

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Photo: GETTY
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Photo: GETTY
Editorial

Editorial

When the Taoiseach travels to a country with a questionable human rights record, there have usually, and quite rightly, been serious questions about what he has done during the visit to address this core issue.

Today, we report how Taoiseach Enda Kenny was intensively lobbied on a one-to-one basis by the head of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, on vital issues of US taxation and EU data protection rules. In one letter, dated June 2014, Ms Sandberg warns the Taoiseach of the danger that an unfavourable outcome may lead large companies "to revisit their investment strategies for the EU market".

Many readers will require no explanation about what Facebook is. The Californian-based corporation is the world's leading social media and networking platform. It reaches hundreds of millions of people across the globe every single day. That is of itself a hugely beneficial thing. From an Irish point of view it is enhanced by a very welcome huge presence in this country with up to 1,600 employees at its Dublin HQ and plans afoot to expand.

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