A hot potato: According to recordings of internal meetings within Facebook, The Zuck is prepared to “go to the mat” if Elizabeth Warren becomes president and tries to break up the company. The senator slashed back with her own harsh words calling out the company for its past misdeeds.
The Verge published leaked recordings of two Q&A meetings held last July by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In the audio, the social media magnate remained calm and casual as he answered questions from employees, even joking at times. He clearly did not realize he was being recorded as his candor revealed.
He criticized Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on her threats to break up Facebook and other Big Tech companies if elected to the nation’s highest office.
“You have someone like Elizabeth Warren, who thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies,” the Facebook boss told those gathered. “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.”
Zuckerberg added that he does not want to fight the US government, but he will because he sees a breakup as an “existential threat.”
“Does that suck for us? Yeah,” he said regarding the potential of a legal war. “I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government, 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 you fight.”
What would really “suck” is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy. https://t.co/rI0v55KKAi
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 1, 2019
Senator Warren, who is not known to mince words, was quick with a response via Twitter when the audio was released. She lambasted the CEO dredging up past issues that are still a thorn in Facebook’s side.
“What would really “suck” is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy,” the lawmaker tweeted.
The CEO believes that breaking up Big Tech companies is not the solution, but had little else to offer other than the status quo.
“It’s just that breaking up these companies, whether it’s Facebook or Google or Amazon, is not actually going to solve the issues,” Zuckerberg explained in one of the recordings. “And, you know, it doesn’t make election interference less likely. It makes it more likely because now the companies can’t coordinate and work together.”
The recordings totaled over two hours and were not only about politics and the breakup of the company.
Zuckerberg explained why he chose not to appear before some foreign government inquiries, saying that “it just [didn’t] really make sense.” He also claimed the allegations of poor working conditions of Facebook contract workers were “a little overdramatic.”
Those interested in reading the entire transcript can check out The Verge’s write-up. It also has some choice snippets of the actual recordings in another article.
image credit: Frederic Legrand – COMEO via Shutterstock