Shorter Faceberg: I Know Nothing!
“Facebook . . . used Definers to take on bigger opponents, such as Mr. Soros, a longtime boogeyman to mainstream conservatives and the target of intense anti-Semitic smears on the far right. A research document circulated by Definers to reporters this summer, just a month after the House hearing, cast Mr. Soros as the unacknowledged force behind what appeared to be a broad anti-Facebook movement. . . . Definers pressed reporters to explore the financial connections between Mr. Soros’s family or philanthropies and groups that were members of Freedom from Facebook, such as Color of Change, an online racial-justice organization, as well as a progressive group founded by Mr. Soros’s son. (An official at Mr. Soros’s Open Society Foundations said the philanthropy had supported both member groups, but not Freedom from Facebook, and had made no grants to support campaigns against Facebook.)”
On Thursday, Faceberg said that the company was cutting ties with Definers.
“As soon as I read it, I looked at whether this was the type of firm that we wanted to work with and we stopped working with them,” Zuckerberg said. He said Definers’ tactics are “the sort of thing that might be normal in Washington” but that they are “not the kind of thing we want to be involved with here.”
Unbelievably, Faceberg claimed that neither he nor
Vulpina, er, Sheryl Sandberg knew about Definers’ work for Facebook in spite of the fact that Sandberg is in charge of the PR effort to go after critics.
In a FB post on Thursday night, Sandberg said that “to suggest that we weren’t interested in knowing the truth” about Russian meddling in 2016, “or we wanted to hide what we knew, or that we tried to prevent investigations, is simply untrue. The allegations saying I personally stood in the way are also just plain wrong.”
“I did not know we hired them or about the work they were doing, but I should have. I have great respect for George Soros — and the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories against him are abhorrent.”
Both Faceberg and Sandberg are Jewish, so, you know, the Soros smear was really appalling on many levels.
So who hired Definers? That should not be difficult to find out! There’s an invoice somewhere, and every invoice has a contract number associated with it, and every contract has an approval.
Facebook’s board also said in a statement on Thursday that criticisms of how it handled the Russia situation are “unfair.” Note that they did not say untrue.
- NYTimes: “Mark Zuckerberg Defends Facebook as Furor Over Its Tactics Grows.”
- TIME: “Zuckerberg tries out transparency as yet another crisis hits Facebook.”
- Daily Beast: “Zuckerberg swears he had no idea Facebook hired GOP hatchet men who went after George Soros.”
- WaPo opinion piece: “The moral and ethical rot at Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg’s Facebook.”
Here’s the thing: we’ve known for a while that Facebook is an unregulated media platform, and they are trying to not take any responsibility for what they publish. They should be held to the exact same standards, rules, and regulations as any other media company.
Update 1: Just Log Out
Update 2: MIT morning email thingie: