When Facebook users learned last spring that the company had compromised their privacy in its rush to expand, allowing access to the personal information of tens of millions of people to a political data firm linked to President Trump, Facebook sought to deflect blame and mask the extent of the problem.
And when that failed — as the company’s stock price plummeted and it faced a consumer backlash — Facebook went on the attack.
While Mr. Zuckerberg has conducted a public apology tour in the last year, Ms. Sandberg has overseen an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat Facebook’s critics, shift public anger toward rival companies and ward off damaging regulation. Facebook employed a Republican opposition-research firm to discredit activist protesters, in part by linking them to the liberal financier George Soros. It also tapped its business relationships, lobbying a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic.
Given how widely sourced this article is, it’s likely more true than not. There’s always going to be people ready to throw Zuckerberg under the bus. He’s one of the most powerful people in the world, with little to no EQ to speak of, and, as I’ve mentioned, either a complete lack of awareness or intentional avoidance of his duty.
What’s somewhat new here is that Facebook seems to have had enough high level churn that folks are willing to drive that bus over Sheryl Sandberg. It’s not unexpected. She’s also one of the most powerful people in the world, has flown more or less below the radar, and as the #2 at Facebook, is at least partially to blame for their continued lack of progress on the dissemination of “fake news.”
Even as Facebook has denied much of what is in this article, enough parts have proven true, including their relationship to Definers Public Affairs, that I’m inclined to believe that most of this is accurate.
Given that, it’s really (past) time to evaluate our use of Facebook. Aside from occasionally sharing pictures of my kids with family, I use Facebook less and less. It’s creepy, it surfaces less useful information for me every time I log in, and as more stories of Facebook leak, I find myself wondering why I would ever use it again.