Sheryl Sandberg: I Didn't Know About Facebook PR Firm Disaster

Saul Bowman
November 17, 2018

These efforts appear to have been part of a deliberate strategy to distract from the very real accountability problems your company continues to grapple with.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and chief operating officer Cheryl Sandberg, were both so bent on growing the company that they "ignored warning signs and then sought to hide them from public view", the report said.

The Times detailed obfuscation by Facebook's top bosses on the Russian Federation front, said the company has at times smeared critics as anti-Semitic or tried to link activists to billionaire investor George Soros, and also tried to shift public anger away toward rival tech companies.

On the eve of the midterm election, Facebook announced it blocked some 30 accounts on its platform and 85 more on Instagram after police warned they may be linked to "foreign entities" trying to interfere. "Another played down the impact of the Russians' use of Facebook".

"In just over a decade, Facebook has connected more than 2.2 billion people, a global nation unto itself that reshaped political campaigns, the advertising business and daily life around the world", the Times reported.

The Times said that when criticism of its belated Russian Federation admission grew, Facebook mounted a lobbying campaign led by Sandberg, pushing negative stories about its political critics and making rival companies like Google and Apple look bad.

According to the report, Sheryl Sandberg oversaw an aggressive lobbying campaign to counter the public backlash against the company. Our relationship with Definers was well known by the media - not least because they have on several occasions sent out invitations to hundreds of journalists about important press calls on our behalf.


Facebook's stock closed slightly down on Thursday, near its lowest price in a year.

Soros, who is often the target of anti-Semitism, has been critical of Facebook before.

By contrast, Facebook took action on 754 million fake accounts - with the company taking action on 99.6 percent of all cases before being notified by users, the company said.

"It is alarming that Facebook would engage in these unsavory tactics", Vachon said on Thursday.

"It's been disappointing to see how you have failed to monitor hate and misinformation on Facebook's platform", Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations, a grantmaking group founded by Soros, wrote in a letter to the social network. "To now learn that you are active in promoting these distortions is beyond the pale", Gaspard said. "You are no doubt also aware that much of this hateful and blatantly false and anti-Semitic information is spread via Facebook", Gaspard wrote in the letter, under the headline, "Facebook's Smear Campaign Against George Soros".

Facebook was likewise said to have utilized a Republican firm having some expertise in restriction research to dishonor activists, somewhat by connecting them to the liberal Soros, who has turned into a favored focus of Trump supporters and far-right trick gatherings.

Among other demands, Color of Change called on Facebook to apologise, to terminate its public policy chief and publish all the opposition research material it compiled about the group and others.

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