Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has sparked a whirlwind of rumors in recent weeks that he might be preparing to run for president. The internet has taken note of Zuckerberg’s politician-like activities of late, predicting that the Facebook billionaire is making plans to run for the highest office in the land—perhaps as soon as 2020.
What fuels this speculation are some of Zuckerberg’s recent undertakings. In a Facebook post published in January, Zuckerberg announced his intention to meet with people from every state in the U.S. in 2017—a trip that bears a lot of resemblance to a presidential candidate on the campaign trail.
As reported by Bustle, Zuckerberg has already spent time in “crucial presidential primary states” this year, including “Ohio, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Iowa, amid a broader tour of the country.”
And although Zuckerberg has previously denied having any intentions of running for president, much of the internet just isn’t buying it.
Is there a non "he's running for president" reason why Mark Zuckerberg is meeting humans in Real America?
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) June 25, 2017
— Ed (@DowdEdward) June 24, 2017
— Jake Bullington (@JakeBullington) June 24, 2017
In his tour of the country, Zuckerberg has already paid visits to the Vicksburg National Cemetery in Mississippi, a car maker’s factory in Michigan, and the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where a racially-motivated massacre had taken place in 2015.
But Zuckerberg has also spent time at local establishments in the small towns he has visited, even dining at the homes of some of the residents as well.
On his trip to Wilton, Iowa, for instance, he talked to locals at the Wilton Candy Kitchen and also visited a truck stop to meet some of the truckers there. He then posted photos of his visit on Facebook and shared his thoughts on the “divergence” of opportunities between big cities and small towns.
— Fly True (@J_H_5) June 25, 2017
Though all of this seems to have a strong whiff of the political about it, Zuckerberg has stated that his purpose is merely to fulfill “a personal challenge” and to hear more from the people in this country.
But his attempts at deflating the rumors have largely come up short, with many people online remaining steadfast in their belief that Zuckerberg’s actions prove he’s gearing up to run for office.
Mark Zuckerberg's first campaign tour for President https://t.co/YYtycZ5EtX
— Bernie Simon (@Jinzang) June 25, 2017
— Trent Brownlee (@trent_brownlee) June 24, 2017
Will Mark Zuckerberg Run For President? He's Hanging Out In Iowa Right Now – Bustle https://t.co/wWOmO3ck0S
— Thinks Alot (@ThinksAlot2) June 25, 2017
— POPSUGAR News (@popsugarnews) June 4, 2017
Whether or not Zuckerberg will announce a run for president in the future, despite his past remarks, remains to be seen. But in the meantime, the Facebook CEO plans to continue touring the country in hopes of meeting his 2017 challenge.
To view a gallery of photos showcasing some of Zuckerberg’s adventures on his tour so far, check out this link here.
[Featured Image by Esteban Felix/AP Images]