websiteThere have been more suspicious activities related to Russia for more than a year. The discovery was an early warning for Klimlin’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 US presidential election. Investigations by Congress and federal investigators gradually point to the company.
According to the people who were present at the time, she yelled at Stamos that day: "You dragged us all down the water!"
Following the conflict that day, a series of post-accounting accounts for Zuckerberg, Sandberg, and the companies they set up to unite emerged one by one. In just over a decade, Facebook has connected more than 2.2 billion people and formed a globalized country on its platform, reshaping political activities, advertising, and everyday life around the world. In the process, Facebook has accumulated the largest individual ever.database-- A treasure trove of data that contains a lot of photos, information and preferences. The company is therefore among the Fortune 500 companies.
But as more and more evidence suggests that Facebook’s power may also be used to disrupt elections, spread viral campaigns, and incite hate speech around the world, leading to deadly political activity, Zuckerberg and Sander Berg is in trouble. In order to grow, the two ignored the danger signal and tried to hide the danger signal from the public eye. According to current and former executives, at many of the critical moments of the past three years, their focus has been on individual projects, and more important decisions about security and policy are left to subordinates.
When Facebook users realized that the company sacrificed their privacy for the pursuit of expansion last spring, allowing a political data company with President Trump to access the personal information of tens of millions of users, what Facebook thinks is How to shirk responsibility and cover up the severity of the problem.
When all this failed, Facebook began to take a positive attack. Under the strong resistance of users, the company's stock price fell sharply.
This article is about how Zuckerberg and Sandberg helped Facebook weather the crisis (most of which have never been published before) based on interviews with more than 50 people. These include: current and retired Facebook executives and employees, parliamentarians and government officials, lobbyists and congressional staff. Most of the respondents requested anonymity because they signed a confidentiality agreement, either they could not contact the reporter or they were worried about retaliation.
Facebook refused to let Zuckerberg and Sandberg comment. In a statement, a company spokesperson acknowledged that Facebook was slow to respond to the challenge, but has made progress in addressing the platform.
“This time is not very easy for Facebook. Our entire management team has always focused on solving the problems we are currently facing,” the statement said. “Although the problem is not easy to solve, we are working hard to ensure that users can find out. The value of our products also ensures that we can protect the communities on the platform from the ruin of bad actors."
Even so, people’s confidence in the social network has sunk and the company’s growth has slowed. Regulators and law enforcement officials in the US and Europe are investigating Facebook's relationship with Cambridge Analytica, and do not rule out the possibility of fines or other penalties for the company. The Trump administration and lawmakers have also begun to draft a national privacy law that has created a crisis for Facebook's future of a business model that relies heavily on data.
The 34-year-old Zuckerberg and the 49-year-old Sandberg still dominate the company's direction, while Stamos and other well-known executives have left because of different opinions on the company's focus. Zuckerberg holds 60% of the company's voting shares, firmly controlling the company's management power, and he has approved most of the company's directors. Last year, people repeatedly questioned whether Zuckerberg should resign as CEO.
Every time, Zuckerberg replied categorically: "No!"
"Tiger's butt can't touch"
Three years ago, Zuckerberg was widely praised for his extraordinary achievements. As a former Clinton government official and an old Google employee, Sandberg also became a flag of feminism through books published in 2013.
Like other technology executives, Zuckerberg and Sandberg also see the company as the backbone of social welfare. Facebook's lofty concept is even written into the securities filing: "Our mission is to make the world more open and connected."
However, as Facebook continues to grow, hate speech, bullying and other undesirable content on the platform grow. When researchers and activists in Myanmar, India, Germany and elsewhere warned that Facebook has become a tool for government propaganda and ethnic cleansing, the company ignores it. Facebook is positioning itself as a platform rather than a publisher. Responsible for or responsible for the content posted by users, which is costly and complicated. Many company executives are also worried that doing so may be counterproductive.
Those who spoke to him or were familiar with the conversation said that Zuckerberg, who had helped to create a non-profit organization dedicated to immigration reform, was shocked. He also asked Sandberg and other executives whether Trump’s actions violate Facebook’s terms of service.
Once at the Silicon Valley headquarters and in WashingtonvideoOn the conference call, the three executives reluctantly accepted their mission. They analyzed the company's terms of service to analyze whether Trump's post or his account violated the company's rules.
Three people familiar with the matter said that Kaplan, you think Trump is an important public figure, closing his account or deleting the statement may be seen as hampering freedom of speech. He also said that if this is done, it may cause the Conservative Party to resist.
"The tiger's buttocks can't be touched," Kaplan reminded.
Zach Burke did not participate in the meeting. Sandberg participated in some video conferences, but rarely spoke.
Schlager concluded that Trump's remarks did not violate Facebook's rules, and that the presidential candidate's views have public value. “We are trying to make decisions based on all the legal and technical evidence we have,” he said in an interview.
But inside Facebook, new troubles are brewing.
Minimize the impact of Russia
In the final months of President Trump’s campaign, Russian agents escalated a year-long hacking and harassment against the Democratic opposition, eventually revealing thousands of messages stolen from important Democrats and party members. .
Subsequently, dozens of articles appeared on a conservative news site called NTK Network, slamming Google and Apple for their disgusting business practices. An article said that Cook accused Facebook of being hypocritical on privacy issues because Apple also collected a lot of data from users. Another article attempts to downplay Russia's influence on the Facebook platform.
The large-scale appearance of these reports is not accidental: NTK is a subsidiary of Definers and has a common office and staff with the company in Arlington, Virginia. Many of the articles on this site are from the hands of Definers or the company's political research department, America Rising, to attack customers' opponents. Although NTK itself does not have many readers, the content of the site is often cited by popular conservative sites such as Breitbart.
Miller admits that Facebook and Apple have no direct competition. Definers' work on Apple was commissioned by another technology company. However, because Cook’s criticism of Facebook made the company dissatisfied, Facebook also wanted to counterattack.
Last month at a bar in Oakland, Calif., Miller said that if privacy issues arise, then Facebook is more inclined to "stir the water."
In public, Facebook is playing more moderately. Zuckerberg agreed to travel to Capitol Hill to attend the hearing. In order to apologize to the user, the company launched an advertising campaign called "Here Together". A few days before Zuckerberg appeared in the US Congress in April, Facebook announced support for Ms. Clobb's "Honest Advertising" bill and took the initiative to disclose political advertising buyers. In addition, Facebook also notified users whose personal data was improperly collected by Cambridge Analytics.
However, Zuckerberg’s journey to release goodwill is not always smooth. Facebook's public relations team believes that thanks to intensive training and preparation, Zuckerberg effectively avoided the thorny issue at the April hearing. But they are also worried that Zuckerberg feels like a robot. Such concerns have also been confirmed by polling agencies.
Informed sources said that Walden was taken aback. He discovered that Zuckerberg, the leader of Facebook, did not understand how serious the anger of Facebook was.
Protect personal image
Sandberg rarely talks about company issues publicly. However, within Facebook, her approach has already attracted criticism.
Some colleagues believe that Sandberg is at the expense of Facebook to protect his personal brand. There is a lot of discussion within Facebook about Sandberg's possible future politics. At a company gathering, Sandberg’s friends told her that if Facebook could not effectively resolve these scandals, then Facebook’s role in spreading hatred and fear would define her personal legacy.
Therefore, in Facebook's Washington event, Sandberg chose to play a more private role, paying more attention to the various modifications than Zuckerberg. She not only relies on her previous relationship with the Democrats, but also tries to appease the skeptical Republicans. These Republicans believe that Facebook is more sensitive to employees' political views than those of Congressional leaders. Sandberg led up to 10 entourage to the US capital and sent a thank-you letter to the parliamentarians and others who met.
Her number one goal in the Republican Party is Boolean, and the latter’s Senate Committee’s investigation into Russia is progressing well. A congressional staff member and a Facebook executive said the two talked over the phone and met this fall. Although critics portrayed Facebook as a “habitualist” and repeatedly ignored warning signs about product risk, Sandberg argued that Facebook is seriously addressing the consequences of rapid growth.
In June of this year, she mentioned the same topic at the meeting of the American Attorneys General Association in Portland, Oregon. At that time, the Attorneys General of several states had begun or joined the investigation of Facebook. Facebook is eager to stop more trouble.
Facebook organized several private receptions, including a dialogue with Sandberg on "Corporate Citizenship in the Digital Age," and a briefing on Cambridge Analytical.
Although Facebook publicly stated that it is ready to accept the new federal regulations, Sandberg privately insists that Facebook has made the best changes and policies. She warned that strict regulation would only be detrimental to smaller competitors.
Some US officials are skeptical about this. However, two sources attending the meeting said that Sandberg’s presence persuaded others to believe that Facebook’s attitude towards solving its own problems is serious. In the past, Facebook usually only sent lower-level managers to attend such gatherings.
Facebook is also continuing to find ways to direct criticism to competitors. In June this year, after the New York Times reported that Facebook shared device data with device manufacturers, and Facebook did not disclose it to lawmakers, Facebook executives asked for a focus group in Washington.
In discussions with liberals and conservatives (about 12 each time), Facebook will show information to lawmakers. The company's approach included pulling YouTube and other social media platforms into controversy, while alleging that Google also signed a similar data sharing agreement.
At the time, some of the most severe criticism came from leftist political groups, and some activists and policy experts even began to shout and demanded the spin off of Facebook.
In July, a Facebook executive went to the House Judiciary Committee to attend the hearing, when an organization called “Freedom from Facebook” stood up to protest. When the executives spoke, the organizers raised their brands and satirized Sandberg and Zuckerberg (both of them Jewish), with two octopus heads drawn to the world.
In the afternoon, the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement on Twitter: “The Jews are portrayed as octopus around the world. This is a typical anti-Jewish act. You can protest Facebook or anyone else you want to protest, but please pick other pictures. Soon, this criticism was supported by some conservative media, such as the Washington Freedom Lighthouse.
Facebook also used Definer to attack larger opponents, such as Mr. Soros. This summer, Definer collected a research document and sent it to reporters. At the time of the congressional hearing, just a month later, the document claimed that a series of anti-Facebook activities behind the scenes was Soros.
It’s only natural that Soros is the target of the attack. In January, he attacked Facebook and Google at the World Economic Forum, saying that they pose a monopoly threat. Some behaviors of Facebook and Google affect society, but they are not willing to protect society from influence.
Definers encourage journalists to look at the relationship between the Soros family and the Soros charity with other groups from a financial perspective. These teams are members of “Freedom from Facebook”, such as the “Color of Change” team, an online racial justice organization. There is also a progressive organization founded by Soros’ son. The report also highlights the criticism of these organizations for Trump. Not only that, Definers also researched other Facebook critics, such as Diamond and Silk, who are social media stars and support Trump, who once said they were treated unfairly by Facebook.
Another example is Facebook's alliance with Mr. Schumer, a New York senator and a Senate Democratic leader. For a long time, he has always wanted to promote the development of Silicon Valley, and has devoted a lot of efforts in commercial drone supervision and patent reform. During the 2016 election, he received funding from Facebook employees and received more money than any other member of Congress.
Schumer also has a close personal relationship with Facebook. His daughter, Alison, joined Facebook just after leaving the university and is now the marketing manager for Facebook's New York office.
In July, Facebook was in trouble and the market value could have evaporated by billions of dollars. At this time Schumer met with Warner prosecutors, and in Congress, Warner’s opposition to Facebook was high. An insider revealed that Schumer told Warner that he should find a way to work with Facebook instead of hurting it. The employee also said that Facebook lobbyists have been keeping pace with Schumer to protect the company.
A Senate assistant who knows the inside story revealed that Schumer told Warner that they needed Facebook help when dealing with right-wing rumors, election interventions, consumer privacy and other issues, and Warner could not ignore this need.
One morning in the late summer, employees posted opaque paper on the windows of the Facebook Washington office meeting room. Not long after, the company sent a security guard and kept it outside the door. Facebook has always advocated an open concept in the office space, and the conference room is a transparent glass wall. This scene is rare.
Sandberg is about to go to the Senate Intelligence Committee to attend the hearing, and her assistants are not willing to take risks.
In the room, the assistant actively prepares for the hearing. They booked a booklet covering every topic that might be asked, and the team also hired a former White House lawyer to help, the lawyer has extensive experience in corporate executive training.
Facebook lobbyists are also actively convincing the intelligence committee to hope that Sandberg will not be a problem in privacy, Cambridge Analytica and filtering. This proposal was approved by Burr and he finally decided not to make the atmosphere like a circus. On the day before the hearing, Burr issued a notice to the members of the committee asking only questions related to the election intervention.
With the hearing held, the senator slammed Google, criticized it for not sending people, and negative news flocked to Facebook's competitors.
In front of Sandberg, neat handwritten notes with the names of the senators of the committee, the senator’s favorite questions and the biggest concerns, reminded Sandberg to express his gratitude.
The notes also use the uppercase characters to write the general guidelines: slow, pause, and make decisions.