Mark Zuckerberg is forced to publicly contend with a new critic today: His very own board.
Following the Nov. 14 New York Times bombshell report detailing a host of gross miscalculations and alleged malfeasance at the social media giant both in the run up to and following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Facebook board has come out with a statement. And oh boy, even filtered through innumerable layers of corporate speak the message is clear: Board members aren’t happy with Mark Zuckerberg.
“As Mark and Sheryl [Sandberg] made clear to Congress, the company was too slow to spot Russian interference, and too slow to take action,” read the statement, tweeted by Mike Isaac of the New York Times, in part. “As a board we did indeed push them to move faster.”
Translation: Zuckerberg and Sandberg were moving too slowly, and needed a strong kick in the pants.
The statement goes on to say that it would be “grossly unfair” to suggest the two execs “tried to ignore [Russian interference] or prevent investigations” into it, but still, to issue anything less than a full-throated statement of support at a moment when Mark Zuckerberg once again finds himself in the hot seat is more than a little telling.
Could the worm, slowly, be starting to turn?
The Facebook board statement was punctuated by a Nov. 15 conference call with the press, in which Zuckerberg said that he only learned about Facebook’s hiring of Definers — an opposition research firm accused of using anti-Semitism to discredit Facebook critics — by reading the New York Times story about it.
So, maybe it’s true that Zuckerberg didn’t try to interfere with his company’s investigation into the Russian government’s attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election. But, it’s also possible that that’s only true because he wasn’t really paying attention to any of it in the first place.
Either way, it looks like Zuckerberg will be keeping a close eye on things going forward — even if only because his board demands it.