Report: Facebook Fired Palmer Luckey for His Politics

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Following his departure from Facebook and Oculus VR, the company he founded before Facebook acquired it, there was wild speculation his leave was due to his politics.

Now, a new report (via the WSJ) claims the top brass at Facebook weren’t happy to find out he donated $10,000 to an anti-Hillary Clinton, pro-Donald Trump meme producing group during the 2016 election.

The Facebook management wanted him to publicly voice support for libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, to essentially distance himself from his perceived politics.

The source noted that later an employment lawyer was hired by Luckey, who argued that Facebook illegally punished an employee for political views or activity – and wanted a $100 million payout for Luckey. Facebook had put Luckey on leave, and then fired him for supporting Trump.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg later denied that Luckey had been fired due to his politics, during a congressional testimony. A Facebook spokesperson issued a statement:

“All details associated with specific personnel matters are kept strictly confidential. This is our policy for all employees, no matter their seniority. But we can say unequivocally that Palmer’s departure was not due to his political views. We always made it clear that any mention of politics was up to Palmer and we did not pressure him to say something that wasn’t factual or true.”

Despite the reported pushback from the Facebook folks, Luckey stands by his former team at Oculus, saying he believes “the team that remains at Oculus is still the best in the VR industry, and I am rooting for them to succeed.”

Since his departure, Luckey founded a new defense technology company, Anduril Industries, which in name alone further reinforces his geekhood.

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