Facebook Denies Reports that executive was ‘forced to resign over Donald Trump support’

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Politics is a hot topic in the tech industry. The corporate culture at behemoths like Facebook and Google is rumored to to favor left-leaning opinions. Now Facebook is reported to have forced out one of its high-ranking executives over a contribution he made to an anti-Hillary Clinton group during the 2016 Presidential election.

Facebook is denying that Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey was fired becasue of his support for Donald Trump. Luckey gave $10,000 to a group that was backing Trump during the election, and The Wall Street Journal claims that news of the donation began a six-month long schism that ended in Palmer’s forced resignation.

“Facebook higher-ups including founder Mark Zuckerberg himself were said to have attempted to pressgang Luckey into publicly supporting libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson,” The Daily Mail writes.

Luckey came to Facebook from Oculus VR, a company he sold to Facebook when he was still in his teens. That was 2012. Since then, Luckey has remained at the head of his company. He reportedly refused Zuckerberg’s pressure to support Johnson and “was put on indefinite leave.”

Zuckerberg and Facebook continue to deny that the dismissal had anything to do with politics.

Luckey, though, disagrees. He’s hired a lawyer who is representing him in. Together, they have reached a settlement. Facebook is paying out $100 million and the bonuses he would have earned through the end of next year.

“We can say unequivocally that Palmer’s departure was not due to his political views,” a Facebook representative writes. “We’re grateful for Palmer’s contributions to Oculus, and we’re glad he continues to actively support the VR industry.”

“Palmer’s departure was not due to his political views,” and they’re still paying him $100 million.

That amount pails in comparison to the sale price of Oculus VR. Luckey sold the company for $2 billion. He pocketed $600 million of that, and continued on as the head of the company.

The politics of Facebook are at the center of an ongoing debate about the 2016 election. Mark Zuckerberg testified to the Senate that the company does not make decisions based on politics.

That testimony hasn’t quelled criticism. “Republican lawmakers accused the tech giant of censoring conservative news and views during a congressional hearing in July this year,” DM writes.

Even President Trump has weighed in on the matter. “I mean the true interference in the last election was that — if you look at all, virtually all of those companies are super liberal companies in favor of Hillary Clinton,” Trump said.

“Maybe I did a better job because I’m good with the Twitter and I’m good at social media, but the truth is they were all on Hillary Clinton’s side, and if you look at what was going on with Facebook and with Google and all of it, they were very much on her side.”