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

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Wall Street is living up to its bad reputation

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Recent headlines will have you convinced that Wall Street is hell-bent on living up to all of its stereotypes.

Driving the news: Goldman Sachs is the biggest and the boldest, paying more than $5 billion in fines in the wake of the 1MDB scandal, in which billions were stolen from the people of Malaysia.

1 hour ago - Health

Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said "the short answer is yes" when asked whether Vice President Mike Pence is putting others at risk by continuing to campaign after several aides tested positive for COVID-19, stressing that the White House needs to be "very explicit about the risks that they're taking."

Why it matters: The New York Times reports that at least five members of Pence's inner circle, including his chief of staff Marc Short and outside adviser Marty Obst, have tested positive for the virus. Pence tested negative on Sunday morning, according to the VP's office, and he'll continue to travel for the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.

Pence to continue traveling despite aides testing positive for COVID-19

Marc Short with Pence in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force. Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Sunday morning, according to the vice president's office.

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