MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX 5) — The future of Facebook may be in question after the hashtag “#DeleteFacebook” picked up steam Monday.
The hashtag was trending on Twitter after Politico reported Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was holding secret dinner meetings at his home over the summer with conservative figures, including talk show hosts, journalists and at least one Republican.
Zuckerbook took to Facebook Monday to address the reports.
He said in part, “To be clear, I have dinners with lots of people across the spectrum…Meeting new people and hearing from a wide range of viewpoints is part of learning. If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you do!”
Russ Hancock, President and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley said it would take time to figure out if the hashtag had any impact on Facebook.
“We have to wait to see if his user base seriously, seriously diminished,” Hancock. said. “Don’t forget that the population of Facebook users would be the largest country in the world.”
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Katherine Clark, who has had a Facebook account for 15 years, said her friends have deleted their accounts over the years.
“They think their privacy is really at stake or is lost on Facebook, it’s not being protected,” Clark said. Clark, who is Conservative, said she doesn’t see anything wrong with Zuckerberg’s series of quiet dinners.
“I think that it would be leveling the playing field if he reaches out to Conservatives because he surely reached out to Liberals,” she said.
Politico reported the dinners focused on free expression, unfair treatment of conservatives as well as privacy.
“You could say that the company is doing all of the things that they’re supposed to do, they’re increasing safe guards, they’re giving assurances about privacy,” said Hancock.
Over the weekend, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren ran a Facebook ad that contained false statements to protest Facebook allowing false statements from other politicians.
Facebook has not returned KPIX’s request for a comment.