Facebook is in the process of assembling a new global policy team that’s comprised of a network of ambassadors scattered around the globe.
As Facebook is both celebrated and criticized around the globe, it has become increasingly important for the company to manage its relationship abroad.
Like Debbie Frost, a Facebook spokeswoman, told the San Jose Mercury News, “This is the right investment for us to make because we want to have better relationships with regulators and policymakers across Europe and around the world. It’s important that we have a presence, so people can have a direct line into Facebook. You limit the scope for misunderstandings.”
Given that Facebook has become the platform for organizers of revolutions around the world, it’s important that the social network has strong lines of communications anywhere that there’s an active user base.
The job of the new Facebook policy directors? One of the primary ones will be to serve as the “primary contact with foreign government officials and politicians.” In other words: schmooze with influential government people. This position isn’t just limited to abroad, however. Just last week we covered how Facebook is coming under increasing scrutiny domestically.
These new roles aren’t unique to Facebook. Google has previously gone through a similar process through which the company helped build relationships with others as their audience became global. In addition to diffusing tense issues abroad, the position can also be used to prevent such problems from orising in the first place.
Mike Swift told the Mercury News, “When the Google Talk instant message product was designed to permanently store all conversations, the company’s foreign policy staff warned that would cause privacy problems in Europe.”
As Facebook continues to pursue global dominance, similar positions have become necessary.
All I can say is that it would be pretty bad ass to show up at cocktail party saying that you’re an ambassador to Facebook.
Here are the full responsibilities as listed on Facebook’s job site:
- Develop and execute strategic approach to achieve company goals in public policy
- Monitor legislation and regulatory matters affecting Facebook and advise company with respect to policy challenges
- Represent Facebook in meetings with government officials and elected members
- Develop public policy positions with other team members at Facebook
- Build coalitions with other organizations to advance policy goals of Facebook
- Create innovative programmes for outreach to policy makers on the opportunities offered by Facebook
- Communicate Facebook’s positions in public presentations and with media
- Advise Facebook teams on public policy matters to guide development of products, services and policies