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Mark Zuckerberg Has No Plan To Step Down

In the interview, Zuckerberg said there's no doubt that "we missed something really important" when it came to the Russian interference during the 2016 US election

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Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg

Despite mounting pressure from investors to step down as Facebook chairman as the social media firm faces intense scrutiny on data scandals, Mark Zuckerberg has said he has no plans to retire.

In an interview with CNN late on Tuesday, he said this was not the time for him to quit as Facebook shares ended at $132.43 — down 40 per cent from its peak in July.

“That’s not the plan. I’m not going to be doing this forever, but I’m not currently thinking that makes sense,” said the Facebook CEO.

The interview came after the New York Times reported how Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg “ignored warning signs” of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and hired a Republican-owned political consulting and PR firm to “dig up dirt” on competitors.

“I do run the company. I am responsible for everything that happens here. I don’t think this point was about a specific PR firm; it’s about how we act,” Mark Zuckerberg said during the interview.

The Times report also suggested that Facebook knew about Russian influence activities on its platform as early as spring 2016.

Facebook hired a firm called Definers Public Affairs to retaliate against or spread inflammatory information about its critics.

Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s outgoing Head of Public Policy, has reportedly taken the blame for hiring the Definers.

In a bid to prevent foreign interference into elections, facebook has also begun labelling all political and issue ads in the us -- including a "paid for by" disclosure from the advertiser at the top of the advertisement.
I have no plan to step down: Zuckerberg.

According to a memo with TechCrunch, Schrage admitted having the company push negative narratives about competitors but denies asking or paying Definers to publish fake news.

Facebook didn’t confirm the memo.

In the interview, Zuckerberg said there’s no doubt that “we missed something really important” when it came to the Russian interference during the 2016 US election.

“It was not something we were expecting. I wish we understood it before 2016, before the Russians tried to do these information operations in the first place,” he added.

Last week, Facebook investors increased pressure on Zuckerberg to step down as Chairman.

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According to a report in The Guardian, Jonas Kron, Senior Vice President at Trillium Asset Management which owns a substantial stake in Facebook, “called on Zuckerberg to step down as board chairman in the wake of the report”.

“Facebook is behaving like it’s a special snowflake. It’s not. It is a company and companies need to have a separation of chair and CEO,” Kron was quoted as saying.

Another Facebook investor Natasha Lamb from Arjuna Capital said the combined role of chairman and chief executive means that “Facebook can avoid properly fixing problems inside the company. (IANS)

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Private Firms Shouldn’t Censor Politicians, News: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook recently allowed US President Donald Trump's campaign office to post a fake ad about Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden on its platform

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2020, Facebook
FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a Facebook developer conference in San Jose, California, May 1, 2018. VOA

Defending Facebook’s policy of not removing political advertisements containing false information, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that a private company should not be censoring politicians and news.

Challenged on CBS over the policy, Zuckerberg said “people should be able to judge for themselves the character of politicians”.

The policy has faced criticism from several quarters due to concerns that ads containing false information may spread misinformation and distort elections.

“What I believe is that in a democracy, it’s really important that people can see for themselves what politicians are saying, so they can make their own judgments,” the Facebook CEO was quoted as saying.

While demands for reconsidering the policy emanated even from within the organisation, Zuckerberg did not commit to any changes.

Mark Zuckerberg. (Wikimedia Commons)

While Twitter has banned all political ads, Google last month announced new restrictions on such ads.

The Internet search giant put new limits on political advertisers globally from micro-targeting users via election ads based on their political affiliation.

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The main formats Google offers political advertisers are Search ads, YouTube ads and display ads. Under the new rules, political advertisers may target their ads only down to the postal code level.

Facebook recently allowed US President Donald Trump’s campaign office to post a fake ad about Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden on its platform. (IANS)