Tech | September 21, 2017 1:23 pm

Mark Zuckerberg On His Road Trip, Problems in Washington and Fake News

Facebook might have record profits, but it is facing a lot of problems.

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Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images )

Bloomberg’s new cover story about Mark Zuckerberg looks into the many problems that his company, Facebook, is facing and his new “political awakening.” In early September it was disclosed that Facebook sold $100,000 in political ads during the 2016 election to buyers who were connected to the Russian government. Special counsel Robert Mueller has made Facebook a focus of his investigation into collusion between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s campaign. In September, ProPublica revealed you could pay to target ads on Facebook to “jew-haters.” Then there is the spread of “fake news” stories.

However, Bloomberg writes, all these problems have not seemed to affect Facebook’s profits. Its market value has more than doubled since 2015. This makes Zuckerberg the fifth richest person in the world.

Facebook has addressed many of these issues. They have admitted to turning over records to Mueller. It has also changed its ad policies. But there are still concerns that the company has gone too powerful and does not have enough oversight.

So what is Zuckerberg doing about it? He has been on a road trip across America since January. The trip seems to be designed to “combat those perceptions” the Bloomberg story says.

Despite Zuckerberg’s denial that he is running for president in 2020, he has made some interesting hires to orchestrate his latest moves. He hired several former senior Obama White House officials and a pollster that worked for Hillary Clinton, reports Bloomberg. He also recently disclosed that he is no longer an atheist, saying that he believes “religion is very important.” If he was planning to run in 2020, he would be 36 years old.

Zuckerberg says his travels, which have included driving around a NASCAR track, visiting cattle ranchers in South Dakota, and a Ford plant in Michigan, have been about “personal discovery, not politics” according to Bloomberg. But Bloomberg also writes that his trips have evolved “into sort of a political platform” here he can talk about how the rising popularity of nationalism came to be (he says it is from a “social stagnation”).

Zuckerberg also disagrees with studies that show heavy social media use leads to isolation and loneliness. He argues that “the best way to a better society is more Facebook.”

So is he actually gearing up for a presidential run, or is this all to save face in the midst of seemingly endless problems? It looks like we will have to wait and see, but for now, you can read the whole profile by Bloomberg for a better look at the main behind Facebook.