Jan 24, 2017

Zuckerberg shuts down the rumors

AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File

Does Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, plan to run for U.S. president?

"No," he told BuzzFeed on Tuesday when asked. "I'm focused on building our community at Facebook and working on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative" (the philanthropic organization he's started with his wife).

With that said, it's unclear exactly how BuzzFeed phrased the question and whether Zuckerberg means he has no current plans or never will—details that are crucial in today's carefully crafted communications with the press.

But the signs were there! Speculation over Zuckerberg's potential interest in public office began to swirl earlier this month when he announced he would be traveling to each state around the country to meet with locals. Vanity Fair even rounded up the clues.

  • Zuckerberg had also previously convinced his board to include a clause that would allow him to take a government job without losing control of Facebook.
  • He's hired a former White House photographer, he's dialed back his atheism, and he hired Obama's former campaign manager to run policy efforts for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Alternative scenario: If anything, Zuckerberg is more likely taking a deeper interest in the political system, which he knows he'll have to work with (and sometimes against) to achieve the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative's goals, which are lofty.

Go deeper

Massive demonstrations put police response to unrest in the spotlight

Washington State Police use tear gas to disperse a crowd in Seattle during a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The response of some officers during demonstrations against police brutality in the U.S. has been criticized for being excessive by some officials and Black Lives Matter groups and leaders.

Why it matters: The situation is tense across the U.S., with reports of protesters looting and burning buildings. While some police have responded with restraint and by monitoring the protests, others have used batons, tear gas and other chemicals and devices to disperse protesters and, in some cases, journalists.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

The scene near the 5th police precinct during a demonstration calling for justice for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Saturday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Journalists get caught in the crosshairs as protests unfold

A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag atop the CNN logo during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd outside the CNN Center on May 29. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage / Getty Images

Dozens of journalists across the country tweeted videos Saturday night of themselves and their crews getting arrested, being shot at by police with rubber bullets, targeted with tear gas by authorities or assaulted by protestors.

Why it matters: The incidents show how easy it can be for the media to entangled in the stories they cover, especially during a time of civil unrest.