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Zuckerberg Testimony: Palmer Luckey Wasn’t Fired For Political Views

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated July 12, 2021

During the five-hour-long Senate testimony given by Mark Zuckerberg, he was asked questions regarding the firing of Palmer Luckey, Oculus co-founder. It all started with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) asking the Facebook CEO about a 2016 report which cited that the company started removing conservative political news from their trending stories box. The senator also asked regarding the political prejudices held by the moderators, to which Zuckerberg stated that he doesn’t ask employees about their political viewpoints. This ultimately led Cruz to articulate the question, “Why was Palmer Luckey fired?

Back in 2016, The Daily Beast reported about a mini-scandal where Palmer Luckey was accused of secretly funding Nimble America - a pro-Trump political activism group. Following the report, Palmer took himself away from public eyes. Luckey soon left the social media giant, but there are still no details on whether he was fired or if he had left voluntarily.

When asked the question, Zuckerberg responded by saying, “that is a specific personnel matter that seems like it would be inappropriate to speak to here.” Cruz followed up the CEO’s answer by asking whether his company had come to any “decisions based on political views,” to which Zuckerberg assured, “I can commit that it was not because of a political view.

Palmer Luckey

Image Courtesy of Game Rant

In the 2016 report, The Daily Beast cited Luckey to be “funding Trump’s meme machine” - reference given to Nimble America. The group’s advertised motive was to “get our most delicious memes in front of Americans whether they like it or not.” The reason why Nimble America had received harsh backlash from critiques is that it was co-founded by the moderator of r/The_Donald, a pro-Trump subreddit which used to spread conspiracy theories and virulent bigotry. Luckey had donated around $10,000 to Nimble America for their cause.

All we currently know about Luckey and what happened afterward is that he had worked with Oculus for several months following the incident and is currently running Anduril - a high-tech defense and security startup.



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