Joel Kaplan

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Joel Kaplan
Joel Kaplan.jpg
White House Deputy Chief of Staff
for Policy
In office
April 20, 2006 – January 20, 2009
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byKarl Rove
Succeeded byMona Sutphen
Personal details
Born1969 (age 51–52)
Weston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic (Before late 1990s)
Republican (late 1990s–present)
Spouse(s)
Laura Lyn Cox
(m. 2006)
EducationHarvard University (BA, JD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Years of service1991-1995

Joel David Kaplan (born 1969) is an American political advisor and former lobbyist serving as Facebook's vice president of global public policy.[1] Previously, he worked eight years in the George W. Bush administration.[2] After leaving the Bush administration, he was a lobbyist for energy companies.[3]

Within Facebook, Kaplan is seen as a strong conservative voice.[4] He has helped place conservatives in key positions in the company, and advocated for the interests of the right-wing websites Breitbart News and The Daily Caller within the company.[5][3][6] He has successfully advocated for changes in Facebook's algorithm to promote the interests of right-wing publications,[3] and successfully prevented Facebook from closing down Facebook groups that were alleged to have circulated fake news, arguing that doing so would disproportionately target conservatives.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Kaplan was born in Weston, Massachusetts. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in 1991, after which he served as an Artillery Officer in the United States Marine Corps for four years. He then earned a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1998.

Career[edit]

After law school, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig.[2] He was an active conservative Democrat during the early-1990s.[8] He registered as a Republican in the late-1990s.[9]

George W. Bush 2000 campaign[edit]

Kaplan worked as a policy advisor on George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign, during which he was a participant in the Brooks Brothers riot on November 22, 2000.[10]

George W. Bush administration (2001–2009)[edit]

From 2001 to 2003 he was special assistant to the president for policy within the White House Chief of Staff’s office. Then he served as deputy director of the Office of Management And Budget, serving under Joshua Bolten. While at the OMB, in 2006, Kaplan said the administration would cut the deficit by half by 2009.[11]

In April 2006 he returned to the White House as the White House Deputy Chief of Staff for policy, taking over policy planning duties from Karl Rove as part of a staff shake-up by White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten. Blake Gottesman was the other Deputy Chief of Staff and focused on operations.[12] He was responsible for the development and implementation of the Administration’s policy agenda.

While in the Bush administration, Kaplan was seen as very close to Bolten.[13]

Private sector[edit]

Prior to joining Facebook, Kaplan was the executive vice president for public policy and external affairs for Energy Future Holdings (EFH), where he oversaw company-wide public affairs and led EFH’s efforts to "publicly demonstrate and communicate its role in the energy industry".[14]

Facebook[edit]

In May 2011 Facebook hired Kaplan as its vice president of U.S. public policy, as part of a Facebook's effort to "strengthen" the company's ties to Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill.[15][16] In October 2014, Kaplan succeeded Marne Levine as Facebook's vice president of global public policy.[17]

Within the company, Kaplan advocated against restrictions on racially incendiary speech.[18] He played an important role in crafting an exception for newsworthy political discourse when deciding on whether content violated the community guidelines.[18] During the 2016 election, Kaplan advocated against closing down Facebook groups which allegedly peddled fake news.[18] Kaplan argued that getting rid of the groups would have disproportionately targeted conservatives.[18][3] In 2017, after Facebook had implemented changes to its algorithm to expose users to more content by family and friends and less by publishers who were determined by Facebook to engage in misinformation, Kaplan questioned whether the algorithm disproportionately hurt conservative publishers and successfully advocated for Facebook to change the algorithm again.[18]

He pushed against a proposed Facebook project that was intended to make Facebook users of different political views engage with each other in less hostile ways. Kaplan argued that this feature would lead conservatives to accuse Facebook of bias.[7][5] Kaplan also reportedly advocated on behalf of Breitbart News and the Daily Caller within Facebook.[5][6] Kaplan has helped to place conservatives in key positions in the leadership of Facebook.[3]

In 2018, he advocated strongly for the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.[19] Kaplan sat behind Kavanaugh during his Senate confirmation hearings.[19]

Personal life[edit]

On April 8, 2006, Kaplan married Laura Cox Kaplan (formerly Laura Lyn Cox) in Washington, D.C.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tony Romm (May 26, 2011). "Facebook picks up former Bush aides". Politico.
  2. ^ a b "White House biography". The White House. Archived from the original on March 3, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
  3. ^ a b c d e "How conservatives learned to wield power inside Facebook". The Washington Post. 2020.
  4. ^ Frenkel, Sheera; Isaac, Mike; Kang, Cecilia; Dance, Gabriel J. X. (2020-06-01). "Facebook Employees Stage Virtual Walkout to Protest Trump Posts". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  5. ^ a b c Seetharaman, Deepa (2018-12-23). "Facebook's Lonely Conservative Takes on a Power Position". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  6. ^ a b "How key Republicans inside Facebook are shifting its politics to the right". the Guardian. 2019-11-03. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  7. ^ a b Feiner, Lauren (2019-10-29). "Warren calls out Facebook policy chief who worked for Bush in plan to clamp down on the 'revolving door'". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  8. ^ John G. Knepper (February 5, 1990). "Seven Elected State Delegates". Archived from the original on March 3, 2014.
  9. ^ "Limelight Finds New White House Deputy", New York Times, 25 April 2006
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "US budget deficit to surge above $400bn". www.ft.com. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  12. ^ Baker, Peter (June 17, 2006). "White House Personnel Changes Complete". The Washington Post.
  13. ^ Newsday (2006-04-19). "Bush shifts Rove out of key post on policy; press secretary resigns". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  14. ^ "Joel Kaplan, Vice President, Global Public Policy" (PDF). Purdue University. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  15. ^ Hudson, John (26 May 2011). "Get to Know Facebook's Lobbyist Dream Team". The Atlantic. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  16. ^ Lattman, Evelyn M. Rusli and Peter (2011). "Facebook Taps Joel Kaplan to Head Washington Office". New York Times. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  17. ^ Tsukayama, Hayley (6 October 2014). "Facebook taps D.C. office head to manage global policy". Washington Post. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  18. ^ a b c d e "Zuckerberg once wanted to sanction Trump. Then Facebook wrote rules that accommodated him". The Washington Post. 2020.
  19. ^ a b Sonnemaker, Tyler. "A Facebook executive rallied support for Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, a new book says". Business Insider. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  20. ^ "Cox, Kaplan exchange vows". Brownwood (TX) Bulletin. GateHouse Media LLC. July 2, 2006. Retrieved February 21, 2018.