Zuckerberg vs. Warren: A meddling menace?
Leaked audio from the founder of Facebook exposes his efforts to convince his employees that policies such as those promoted by Elizabeth Warren are a danger to the company.
Remember the investigation on the role of Facebook in the manipulation of information during the 2016 presidential campaign?
Well, now it seems that its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has another goal in mind.
Audio filtered by The Verge exposes the founder of the tech giant trying to calm the concerns of its employees about the future of the company, especially given the presidential elections of 2020.
Zuckerberg told his employees in July that he would "go to the mat" to defeat any effort by Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren to "break the company."
“If she (Warren) gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge and I would bet that we would win the legal challenge. And does that still suck [sic] for us? Yes. I mean, I don't want to have a major lawsuit against our own government,” the Facebook founder is heard saying in the audio.
Zuckerberg's statements are more appalling after the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections showed that more than 120 million Americans were targeted on Facebook campaigns in favor of Donald Trump.
In his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 2017, Zuckerberg stated that “Facebook believed 120 fake Russian-backed pages created 80,000 posts that were received by 29 million Americans directly but reached a much bigger audience by users sharing, liking and following the posts,” The Guardian reported.
The collaboration of the world's largest social media in the orchestration of manipulation strategies has been the subject of several public investigations and questions about the danger posed to the already eroded American democracy.
Fighting this has been one of the campaign promises of Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic candidate who leads the polls in the Party's primaries.
The Warren campaign has frequently warned about the risk of large technology companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google, who “has swept the competition, used our private information for profit and tipped the playing field against everyone else,” according to its article on Medium.
“I want a government that makes sure that everyone - even the biggest and most powerful companies in America- plays by the rules,” says Warren. "To do that, we need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor."
Her campaign proposes to "make big, structural changes in the tech sector to promote more competition - including breaking up Amazon, Facebook, and Google."
Faced with Zuckerberg's filtered threat, Warren wrote on Twitter: "what would really ‘suck’ is if we don't fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anti-competitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.
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
Despite her campaign promise to "break" tech giants, a wave of Democratic donors in Silicon Valley are willing to support Warren's candidacy if she becomes the Democratic nominee.
One way or another, the message of the candidate that "has a plan for everything" continues to gain strength, and Mark Zuckerberg's criticism only seems to be helping in the process.