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David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook hired a pollster specifically to track CEO Mark Zuckerberg's perception around the globe, according to a report by The Verge.

Why it matters: It underscores how invested Facebook is in the image of its founder as he becomes its chief defenders against charges that the social platform is being manipulated to the detriment of its users.

Details: Tavis McGinn applied for the job last Spring, without knowing that it was a political market research job.

  • McGinn says he conducted research on different aspects of how the company, its CEO and its COO Sheryl Sandberg are perceived.
  • “It was a very unusual role,” McGinn tells The Verge. "It’s very advanced research.”

Smart take from The Verge's Casey Newton: "Facebook is not unique among tech companies in conducting surveys to gauge perceptions about its brand ... But it is unusual for a company to have a staff person charged exclusively with monitoring perceptions of its CEO full time."

Go deeper

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

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