Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a congressional hearing last year. Facebook's U.S. public policy vice president Kevin Martin is sitting behind him. Photo by Bloomberg
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As Facebook Wins Republican Friends, Democrats Turn Hostile

Photo: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a congressional hearing last year. Facebook's U.S. public policy vice president Kevin Martin is sitting behind him. Photo by Bloomberg

Despite the steady drumbeat of criticism targeting Facebook, the social media giant has its defenders in Washington. They just happen to be Republicans.

When Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois opened a congressional hearing on Jan. 8 by slamming Facebook’s new policy on deepfakes as “wholly inadequate,” for example, Republican Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon praised the company for cleaning up its platform. Last fall, Republicans such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina each came to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s defense at different times, about the company’s plans for Libra, its new digital currency, and about its decision not to ban political ads on its platform.

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