The Facebook Papers may be the biggest PR crisis the social media company has ever seen — and that’s saying something. I mean, this is a business that has been involved in election fixing for god’s sake.
But if Zuckerberg is one thing, it’s an overachiever. This is a man not willing to rest on his laurels. Forever, he strives, on and on, for all time, striving.
So what does a man of this calibre do when confronted with leaked Facebook documents that reveal the inner workings of the company? He does what any king worth their crown does: declare that everyone’s wrong.
And this, friends, is exactly what Zuckerberg did at yesterday’s Facebook quarterly earning call.
“Good faith criticism helps us get better, but my view is that we are seeing a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company,” Zuckerberg said.
Hmm, you know what? He’s not entirely wrong.
The way news works is the headline serves as the attention-grabber while the nuance is provided in the body. Hell, this very article is doing that exact same thing — and that can come across as “selectively” using information to paint a picture.
So let’s get real: of course the media will selectively use Facebook documents. Is there any rational world where a topic like employees being concerned about extremism on the platform deserves as much attention as what someone had for lunch?
To King Zuck, of course it does. Anything else isn’t balanced.
But there’s a delicious irony to all this.
One of my favorite reveals from the Facebook Papers was been a 2019 memo that reveals the social media site is hardwired for misinformation.
It said there is “compelling evidence” that the site’s core mechanics (“such as vitality, recommendations, and optimizing for engagement”) are a “significant part” of why falsities proliferate the platform.
To put that another way, Facebook is created to misinform.
Zuckerberg accused the press of obscuring and promoting specific information in order to tell the story it wants you to hear, something Facebook itself has done with Project Amplify.
So when Zuckerberg, the king of misinformation, declares that the media is misinformed, all I have to say is this: it takes one to know one.