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🚨Special report: Two hours of leaked internal Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg

October 1 · Issue #393 · View online
The Interface
Today we’re publishing highlights from two hours of leaked audio in which Mark Zuckerberg rallies his employees against critics, competitors, and the government. Over two open meetings with employees in July, Zuckerberg takes questions on a wide range of subjects that capture a deep unease at the heart of the company. Government threats to break up Facebook and other big tech companies, along with the decline in public perception of the company and the rise of competitors like TikTok, are at the top of employees’ minds.
In our story, you’ll be able to hear the audio of Zuckerberg answering these questions head on. He speaks in terms that can be more charged than his normal public presentation. Here, for example, he is on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s call for a breakup of the company:
You have someone like Elizabeth Warren who thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies … 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. I mean, that’s not the position that you want to be in when you’re, you know, I mean … it’s like, 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 you fight. 
Zuckerberg also talks up the value of a massively large Facebook, saying that Facebook’s size is the reason it can invest in promoting election security while Twitter struggles:
It’s why Twitter can’t do as good of a job as we can. I mean, they face, qualitatively, the same types of issues. But they can’t put in the investment. Our investment on safety is bigger than the whole revenue of their company. [laughter] And yeah, we’re operating on a bigger scale, but it’s not like they face qualitatively different questions. They have all the same types of issues that we do. 
There’s a ton more here, which we’ve presented in a separate page with a fuller transcript. You can read about Zuckerberg’s plan to stop the halt of TikTok; what he thinks employees should tell friends who have taken a dim view of Facebook lately; and why Zuckerberg usually refuses to testify in front of governments when they ask.
I hope you’ll dig in to (the admittedly lengthy) transcript and share your own highlights far and wide. We’ll be posting additional highlights from the audio in The Interface over the next several days. Subscribers will be the first to see it.
It’s a shorter newsletter than usual — we did just email you 12 hours ago, after all. Back at full strength tomorrow.

A far-right militia with 24,000 followers on Twitter warned that if Trump were to be impeached, a “full-blown” civil war would break out. The comments could seem to violate Twitter’s policy on speech that promotes violent extremism, but the company says it’s leaving them up. (Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed)
Facebook will exclude opinion pieces and satire from its fact-checking program. That means it won’t allow fact-checkers rate a post as false even if it contains inaccurate information. Major newspapers typically have a similarly hands-off policy on their op-ed pages, but that hasn’t stopped the criticism of Facebook from rolling in. (Jeff Horwitz / The Wall Street Journal)
Facebook initially tried to fight FTC fines over privacy abuses in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The company originally argued that it did not harm consumers or profit from mishandling users’ data, although it ultimately settled with the FTC. (Tony Romm / The Washington Post)
Democratic presidential candidates talk big about regulating the tech industry — but they also can’t stop taking money from it. By Wednesday, there will have been 16 fundraising events in six days in the Bay Area, with candidates including Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and Joe Biden. (Theodore Schleifer / Recode)
Reddit revised its anti-harassment policy to make cracking down on abuse easier. The changes broaden the definition of threats, harassment, and bullying, and allow bystanders (not just victims) to report violations of the rules. (Adi Robertson / The Verge)
Facebook plans to pay only a small number of the publishers whose content will appear in the forthcoming News tab. The section is set to launch as early as the end of October. Previous reporting suggested that the company would pay all the publishers in the tab. (Lukas I. Alpert and Sahil Patel / The Wall Street Journal)
The Libra Association, which governs the Facebook-developed cryptocurrency, is nominally an independent organization. But its members have close personal and financial ties to Facebook, and to each another. (Clare Duffy / CNN)
YouTube creators and researchers accused the company of relying on a system of “bigoted bots” to determine whether certain content should be automatically demonetized. The group found that moderation bots punish videos tagged as “gay” or “lesbian” by demonetizing them. YouTube denies it. (Julia Alexander / The Verge)
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