Leaked audio reveals Zuckerberg defiant about political crackdown efforts
October 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg struck a defiant tone against the various criticisms facing the social media giant in two hours of leaked audio published this week by The Verge.
The audio came from July question-and-answer sessions between Zuckerberg and Facebook employees, and covered a range of topics, including potential government action to break up Facebook.
“You have someone like Elizabeth Warren that thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies,” Zuckerberg said (the Massachusetts Democrat’s proposal is based on privacy and monopoly considerations, not political bias). “I mean, if she gets elected president then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge.”
“And does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government,” Zuckerberg continued. “We care about our country, and want to work with our government and do good things. But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and fight.”
The Facebook chief doubled down on Facebook’s self-adopted role as a guardian against “election interference” and “hate speech,” stressing that breaking up tech giants only “makes it more likely because now the companies can't coordinate and work together." That, he added, is “why Twitter can’t do as good of a job as we can ... they can’t put in the investment. Our investment on safety is bigger than the whole revenue of their company.”
Zuckerberg did claim to support a “regulatory framework where people feel like there’s real accountability” in order to keep frustrated critics from eventually deciding, “Screw it, take a hammer to the whole thing.” Critics remain skeptical of such promises in light of the first report from an internally-commissioned audit team, which summarized complaints against the company but abstained from judging their veracity. Zuckerberg has refused to submit Facebook to a fully-independent audit.
In the leaked audio, Zuckerberg also acknowledged that understandable concerns stem from Facebook’s sheer size and power but maintained the status quo was good for Facebook’s ability to “focus on doing what we think are the right things over a multiyear period” despite fiscal setbacks. “I think we need to internalize that if (the criticism) weren’t that, it would be something else,” he added.
Zuckerberg responded to the leak in a Facebook post stating simply that the audio presents “an unfiltered version of what I'm thinking and telling employees on a bunch of topics like social responsibility, breaking up tech companies, Libra, neural computing interfaces, and doing the right thing over the long term."
The audio came amid ongoing concerns about Facebook suppressing and discriminating against right-of-center content from sources such as LifeSiteNews, Live Action, Save the Storks, the Susan B. Anthony List, the American Pregnancy Association, Choice For Two, Elizabeth “Activist Mommy” Johnston, 500 Mom Strong, theologian Dr. Robert A.J. Gagnon, The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher, video bloggers Diamond & Silk, and more.
In addition, multiple analyses have found that Facebook’s algorithm changes instituted at the beginning of 2018 disproportionately impacted conservative politicians and websites. Earlier this year, an insider revealed that Facebook “deboosts” traffic to several mainstream conservative sites.