Facebook's head of policy was sitting front and center at Thursday's Kavanaugh hearings

  • Kaplan attended as a friend of Kavanaugh's.
  • It's a sensitive time for a Facebook executive to be spotted at such a contentious affair.
Facebook policy head Joel Kaplan (circled) listens to testimony of Brett Kavanaugh before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. 
REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Facebook policy head Joel Kaplan (circled) listens to testimony of Brett Kavanaugh before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. 

Facebook's head of policy, Joel Kaplan, was sitting in the U.S. Senate gallery Thursday behind Judge Brett Kavanaugh as he responded to allegations of sexual misbehavior when he was in high school.

Kaplan attended in a personal capacity as a friend of Kavanaugh's, according to a Facebook spokesperson. Both Kavanaugh and Kaplan worked for President George W. Bush.

New York Times reporter Mike Isaac, among others, noticed Kaplan's presence in the audience:

It's a sensitive time for Facebook and the company's relationship with Washington, D.C., following the problems the platform faced ahead of the 2016 presidential election. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made multiple trips to the Capitol to testify in front of Congress, and a number of legislators have called for the company to be regulated.