Source: Silicon Star (guixingren123)
In 2015, Trump posted on Facebook to stop the US from accepting Muslim immigrants. The move caused a lot of Facebook employees and outsiders to be dissatisfied and asked the company to impose a penalty on it, but it was not realized in the end;
Russian hackers hacked into Facebook to get user data, created a large number of fake personal accounts and pages, placed political advertisements and provoked a wave of right-wing nationalism and ultra-conservatism, which was called “Russian Interference”;
Due to weak resistance to Russian intervention, Facebook has once again suffered an unprecedented image crisis. However, in the inquiry to the congressional hearing, there was almost no problem that was difficult for Zuckerberg;
At the same time, a wave of new conspiracy theories spread in the circle of conservative forces in the right, and finally infected the mainstream public opinion: Facebook was only smashed by the extreme left-wing liberals funded by the financial tycoon Soros, it is innocent.
But is the truth of the matter really like this? ……
If you are concerned about the Silicon Valley technology industry, especially Facebook, you should know that this company has been subject to criticism recently. For more than a year, Facebook has experienced a number of crises from Russian intervention, data privacy leaks and insulting content, and the company has turned from a Silicon Valley hacker culture idol to a troubled giant.
Some people say that Facebook is self-sufficient, because the greater the ability, the stronger the responsibility, the better you can blame; the more people who are unfair to Facebook, it is just a technology company, the products developed and the collected data are used. To blame the Russians, blame Trump, who is it for Facebook?
Unexpectedly, reality is far more ugly and puzzling than people think.
The New York Times investigators interviewed more than 50 Facebook current and former executives, employees, government officials, parliamentarians, congressional staff, and political lobbyists, and found out about the creepy truth about Facebook:
- The company's top management has long been aware of Russia's invasion and abuse of the network, but for the ulterior motive, choose to conceal information from the board of directors and the public for more than one year;
- CEO Mark · Zuckerberg acquiesced to adopt a policy of appeasement on Trump's account, rather than following the platform regulations, for fear of hurting the feelings of conservative users;
- Zuckerberg himself has also been isolated from other Silicon Valley amnesties. Apple CEO Tim · Cook was interviewed to ridicule Facebook's serious violation of user privacy, Zuckerberg immediately ordered all executives to abandon the iPhone;
- In order to resist external criticism and transfer targets, Facebook has started to “unscrupulously”. COO Cheryl · Sandberg personally supervised the Republican lobbying company to discredit potential competitors. One of the tactics is to use the “black PR” approach to portray George · Soros as the anti-Facebook/anti-conservative behind-the-scenes gold master;
- At the same time, Facebook has been funding Senate Minority Leader Democratic Senator Chuck · Schumer. The politician also became an ally of Facebook in the Senate, using political deals to help Facebook avoid Congressional questions.
Zuckerberg and Schumer were captured at the Allen Co. annual meeting
The New York Times pointed out that in the past few years, Facebook executives have spent more on concealing the truth and countering criticism than improving their business and really correcting mistakes. This passive and passive attitude eventually led to Facebook's stock price falling and the company fell into the whirlpool of public opinion.
The company's response was not to improve the product's popularity, but to launch a radical “black PR” for competitors and scapegoats in an attempt to shift targets.
According to the official website, Facebook's mission is to “give people the power to build communities and make the world more connected”.
Everything that was revealed before, but people can't believe the truth of this sentence.
Transparent but dark meeting
It is well known that Facebook is one of the Silicon Valley companies that used open workspaces earlier. The office is like a large factory building with messy tables and chairs. Zuckerberg has enjoyed this open feeling so far, and he and his men always use a bright glass room as a conference room.
Although I can’t hear what’s going on inside, who’s inside, what’s going on, what’s going on outside.
… such as fierce quarrels, and the extreme frustration revealed from the expression.
The time is one day in September 2017, Cheryl · Sandberg has been working on Facebook for ten years. As chief operating officer, Sandberg, who is 15 years older than Zuckerberg, is the manager of the company. Despite reporting on the organizational structure to the founder and CEO, she actually enjoyed a high level of authority on Facebook.
But the day before, Sandberg was forced to experience the most humiliating day of her career:
After more than a year of first discovery, Russia’s intervention in the US election through Facebook has still not been effectively curbed. The situation finally failed to hold back, and the directors tortured her and Zuckerberg. They can't understand why COOs and CEOs can hide this important information from the board for so long.
The leaked information is Alex Stadt; Alex Stamos. At the emergency meeting the next day, Sandberg made a mistake with the company's chief security officer: You killed us! (You threw us under the bus!). This anger shocked the people present and the staff outside the meeting.
Facebook executives took a photo with the middle gray T-shirt for Zuckerberg and Sandberg behind him.
If Sandberg read the article published by Stamos a few months ago about the use of social networks to pollut the election justice "Information Operations and Facebook", she should have long understood that this matter is concealed. Tamos, and how serious it is for Facebook.
It is precisely because of the company's two most powerful people — — Sandberg and Zuckerberg & mdash; & mdash; Facebook has since fallen into the mud of the false information intervention elections.
Don't try to challenge Big Brother
In the prospectus submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook described the company's mission as: making the world more open and connected.
However, in reality, because of the growth too fast, Facebook is becoming more and more powerless in fulfilling its mission.
Governments in Myanmar and Sri Lanka use Facebook to disseminate false information, encouraging and empowering more hatred and violence against Muslims. Due to inaction, the social networking giant has been criticized in Southeast Asia.
In a similar incident, Facebook has always used the point of view of technical sinlessness to offend itself. It emphasizes that it is a platform, and his official reply by suggesting that the review is not only not conducive to freedom of speech, but also costly.
This kind of appeasement policy facing the ruling may come from Trump's "franchise".
During the campaign, Trump issued a declaration on Facebook with a strong racist nature, claiming a complete blockade of Muslim immigrants, also known as the Muslim Ban. The page of the declaration is now 404, but this post has been posted on Trump's own authentication account, has been shared more than 15,000 times, and received 21,000 comments, most of which expressed support for the declaration:
According to an informed Facebook employee, Zuckerberg himself was shocked when he saw this post. He called Sandberg and other executives to discuss, hoping to figure out one thing: Is this post in violation of Facebook? Terms of services, should not turn off Trump's account.
The answer is obviously yes. The Facebook User Agreement clearly states that the platform has zero tolerance for all hateful content against openness, inclusiveness and racial discrimination.
The problem is: the publisher of the content is Trump.
Like most of the billions of users on the platform, Trump is also human. The complexity is that Trump had a very high voice among the conservatives, and it has already shown a strong momentum of winning in the Republican Party.
Reviewing Trump means angering, alienating, and even losing a large number of conservative users.
Zuckerberg, who has more business management, usually gives this kind of thing to Sandberg to decide because she has more political experience and held senior positions in the finance department of the Clinton team.
At that time, Sandberg, who was trying to get out of the pain of the lost husband through work, did not expect to encounter a big problem. So she turned to her own men, Joe · Joel Kaplan, a former Bush administration official who had just joined Facebook's Washington, DC office.
Joe · Kaplan accompanied Zuckerberg to attend a congressional hearing
Kaplan is a Republican who insists that Trump is an important public figure. Closing his account may be suspected of impeding freedom of speech and will lead to conservative criticism.
Finally, Facebook's public relations department determined the only way to do this: Trump's remarks have public information attributes and value, without violating user agreements. His account and the post posted are still there.
“Don't touch the tiger's ass (don't poke the bear.)” Kaplan said in a conference call to develop countermeasures.
Coming from Russia, with email
In the face of a large amount of evidence of Russian hackers obtained from internal sources, Sandberg and Zuckerberg chose to conceal information.
The New York Times learned from people familiar with the matter: As early as Trump was elected at the end of 2016, a Facebook security expert had discovered that Russian forces are using Facebook to launch an unprecedented online psychological war.
The employee reported the situation to Chief Security Officer Stamos. The latter launched its own investigation and finally found out that the situation is true. The Russian forces are carrying out very dangerous actions on Facebook that are harmful to the security and fairness of the election.
In the year before the election day, these hackers continued to contact members of the Trump campaign team on Facebook. Near the election day, hackers acted even more arrogantly. They pretended to be the scams and tried to provide e-mails from Democratic politicians to reporters in the US media through Facebook.
Almost at that time, the server of the Democratic National Committee was hacked. WikiLeaks, a well-known mystery agency for government document disclosure, has published nearly 20,000 emails and more than 8,000 attachments from the Democratic National Committee.
The findings were handed over to the company's chief legal officer, Colin Stretch's office. At the same time, Stamos launched his own counterattack action and organized several employees to start targeted attacks on related accounts.
it is too late. Because of this involvement, the chairman, CEO, CFO and public relations director of the Democratic National Committee resigned. The leak and the leaked mail itself have caused a serious blow to the Democratic candidates.
On the night of November, the American people elected the people they thought could lead the country for the next four years.
Stamos is suffering. He believes that the company has not been able to make enough efforts to combat Russian intervention. It is not important who should be elected. The important thing is —— no doubt this —— is not a clean election.
He asked to meet with Zuckerberg and Sandberg and told them that they were countering Russian hackers.
To his surprise, Sandberg did not praise his move to fast fast things, and actually rebuked him for not knowing the company's top management.
Stamos testified in Congress
Later, Stamos wrote the findings of his team as "Information Operations and Facebook" and published it as an official white paper of the company with Sandberg approval.
Unexpectedly, this move made him in a dilemma. His investigation did not violate professional ethics and corporate code of conduct, and the company's number one Republican lobbyist Kaplan has accused the white paper of further dragging Facebook into drowning.
At that time, the investigation by the US intelligence department had pointed out that the Russian government was the mastermind of electoral intervention, and the ruling Republican politicians were eager to downplay the matter.
Kaplan insists that if Facebook goes down in this direction, it will not only be criticized by the Republican Party as a slap in the face of the liberal Democrats, which is not conducive to the company's future maintenance of relations in Congress, adding difficulty to its work; it will further anger and alienate conservative tendencies. user.
Before the insecure security experts and professional Washington, DC lobbyists, Sandberg chose to stand on the united front with Kaplan.
Not only did it not retreat, but the Russian forces increased their investment in Facebook after the US election in 2016.
Facebook security employees have found more political and ideological ads, public pages and groups on the social network that are linked to the Russian hacker community. What happened next was inevitable: Stamos found the board, followed by a fierce clash with Sandberg at the executive meeting, and even the verbal abuse of Facebook Washington DC lobbyists.
He left the company this year to teach at Stanford University. At the September 2017 meeting, and at subsequent multi-sessional meetings, more executives who were farther away from the powers, including those who were not limited to the founders and product departments of Instagram, WhatsApp, etc. Later, they also went to work.
In the past, the Democratic Party’s defeat in the 2016 general election has been irreparable. But the serious flaws in corporate governance that Facebook executives showed at the time were still enough to be remembered forever.
This is an era when a company is enough to change the world's pattern and influence even the most important political election results in the world. The United States is not the first country to change its political ecology by Facebook, nor will it be the last.
Black public relations and fire target
When the company became a target, Sandberg’s strategy was to turn criticism into other technology companies.
At the strong request of the Washington, DC office, Sandberg approved Facebook to hire a lobbying company, Definer Public Affairs. According to the official website, Definer is good at translating Washington's political communication experience into a public relations strategy suitable for business use.
Translating adult words is just as straightforward and effective in transforming the deep-seated competitive relationship between technology companies into the personal attacks of politicians in the campaign.
For example, earlier this year, Facebook first discovered that nearly 100 million user data was abused by hackers, and then the media exposed Android device vendors to share data deeply, which triggered a new wave of criticism.
Facebook's way of eliminating this criticism is not to focus on how to correct mistakes, but to lobby a politician to Washington, and to spread a customized message to the public through its own website: YouTube has similar arrangements with device vendors.
At Difiner's suggestion, Facebook decided to publicly support a Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act against pornography. The bill requires technology companies to be responsible for pornographic sales on their websites, and was therefore opposed by a number of technology companies, including Google.
This year President Trump has signed and passed the law. By being a platform for him, Sandberg not only maintained his image as a feminist fighter, but more importantly, built a consensus between Facebook and Congressional politicians to deepen understanding.
The congressional relationship that Sandberg has maintained over the past two years is enough to envy any technology company: while individuals continue to be intimate with the Democrats, the lobbyists on the other side also have a large wave of Republican lawmakers. To what extent her relationship with parliamentarians is so close that when she feels that Democratic Senator Mark · Mark Warner is too "strong" for Facebook, Senate minority leader Chuck · Schumer directly threatens Warner Do not continue to investigate.
The public sees Zuckerberg's courage to testify before Congress; what the public does not see is a public relations document that cleans Facebook and discredits competitors, with the help of Definer, a Republican veteran. It touched almost every far right media in the United States and every conspiracy thesis site.
After the British big data company Cambridge Analytica abused Facebook data to help Trump win the election, other US technology companies began to use public criticism of Facebook to conduct public relations. Even Apple CEO Tim ·, who rarely stated his position, also stood up. In an interview with MSNBC, Apple said that Apple would not (like Facebook) infringe on user privacy.
Facebook immediately sent a public relations draft to various right-wing media. One of the articles pointed out that Cook satirized Facebook as a false act, and Apple, as well as other companies such as Google, collected a large amount of data from users.
The published media even has NTK Network, a pseudo-news site owned by Definer, located in Washington, DC, in the same office as Difiner, and the author of the article is also a Difiner employee.
In collaboration with the lobbying company, Facebook confirmed a key message: in the political spectrum, the criticism of Facebook's biggest head comes from the left-wing liberals.
So Sandberg’s lobbying elites immediately developed a unique set of policies: creating public opinion chaos among liberals and disintegrating opposition forces.
At the congressional hearing, a poster of the protesters placed Zuckerberg and Sandberg's head on the octopus's tentacles. Facebook contacted the Jewish rights organization A.D.L., which immediately issued a statement stating that placing the heads of two Jews on the tentacles and making a way around the earth is a typical anti-Jewish discrimination. At the same time, the right-wing media also followed up immediately and reported on the matter.
At the same time, Facebook approved Definer to spread a set of news articles between the media, and Soros & mdash; & mdash; and Sandberg, Zuckerberg have high-profile financial predators & mdash in the Jewish community; — portrayed behind the scenes of anti-Facebook forces.
The Open Society Institute, founded by Soros himself, clarified that the retired philanthropist never gave a penny to the social organization that “strongly attacks Facebook”. “Freedom from Facebook”. But this does not prevent Definer from smearing him, because other institutions that support this FFF, including the Color a Change, have received donations from the Open Society Institute and the Soros family.
The latest news is that after the implementation of the black public relations strategy, Facebook immediately terminated the partnership with Defiler and did not explain any reason.
On the day after the New York Times investigation report was issued, Zuckerberg accepted a telephone interview with major media in the United States.
In the interview, Zuckerberg refused to acknowledge most of the allegations in the article. The strategy adopted was to answer the accusations and reporters' questions quickly and ambiguously, and immediately transferred the topic to Facebook. How to solve this problem, but did not provide specific Measures.
Zuckerberg pointed out that (because of this matter) "adjusted the position of individual personnel" and refused to disclose the name and position.
When asked if the company has such a major problem, will he resign as chairman, and he will firmly answer no.
He made it clear that he did not know that Facebook was using political lobbying strategies to conduct corporate public relations before seeing the article, and said that it had terminated its relationship with Defiler. This question was muted for a long time before answering. I don't know if it means that Zuckerberg has already dropped Sandberg off the boat.
Sandberg was not interviewed.