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Why Mark Zuckerberg isn't talking

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After nearly four days of silence from top executives on the unfolding controversy around Cambridge A
 
March 20 · Issue #101 · View online
The Interface
After nearly four days of silence from top executives on the unfolding controversy around Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of user data, Facebook on Tuesday made a statement about what Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are doing. “Mark, Sheryl and their teams are working around the clock to get all the facts and take the appropriate action moving forward, because they understand the seriousness of this issue,” Facebook told The Daily Beast. “The entire company is outraged we were deceived. We are committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information and will take whatever steps are required to see that this happens.”
The company’s statement is notable for three reasons. One, it escalates the emotional tone of Facebook’s response — on Friday, it called Cambridge Analytica’s actions “unacceptable”; today they are an outrage. Two, the statement frames the story as a deception in which Facebook was not the bad actor but the victim. Three, it buys the company time amid growing demands to hear from Zuckerberg himself.
CEO Zuckerberg and COO Sandberg have drawn criticism for their silence in the face of mounting concern about Facebook’s response to revelations about Cambridge Analytica. The company, which served as Donald Trump’s data operations team during the 2016 election, has been accused of improperly obtaining data from academic researcher Aleksandr Kogan and using it to harvest information about more than 50 million user profiles.
Wired reported on Tuesday that the issue had become contentious inside Facebook:
As the storm built over the weekend, Facebook’s executives, including Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, strategized and argued late into the night. They knew that the public was hammering them, but they also believed that the fault lay much more with Cambridge Analytica than with them. Still, there were four main questions that consumed them. How could they tighten up the system to make sure this didn’t happen again? What should they do about all the calls for Zuckerberg to testify? Should they sue Cambridge Analytica? And what could they do about psychologist Joseph Chancellor, who had helped found Kogan’s firm and who now worked, of all places, at Facebook?
Zuckerberg may be working around the clock, but he is expected to address employees on Friday during the company’s regular Q&A session for employees, The Verge has learned. The meeting is scheduled to take place at 1P ET.
Meanwhile, the number of things Zuckerberg will have to answer for keeps growing. Late on Tuesday afternoon, Brian Acton — who personally made $6.5 billion when he and Jan Koum sold WhatsApp — told the world to delete Facebook

Democracy
How Facebook Made Its Cambridge Analytica Data Crisis Even Worse
F.T.C. Investigating Facebook in Use of Personal Data by Firm Tied to Trump
UK committee asks Zuckerberg to testify on ‘catastrophic’ Facebook privacy failure
Canada’s privacy watchdog asks Facebook for info on data misuse that raises ‘serious concerns’
Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook data abuse shouldn’t get credit for Trump
Facebook is amplifying ethnic violence in Myanmar. Should it leave?
California privacy advocates ask Facebook to stop opposing their proposed ballot measure following Cambridge Analytica debacle
How a Seattle Candidate Used Facebook to Push a Misleading Claim About Property Crime
Facebook Warns Mexicans About Fake News in Presidential Campaign
Google News Initiative announced to fight fake news and support journalism
Elsewhere
Cambridge Analytica's Board Suspends CEO Nix Amid Inquiry
Exposed: Undercover secrets of Trump’s data firm
Russia orders Telegram to hand over users’ encryption keys
'Utterly horrifying': ex-Facebook insider says covert data harvesting was routine
Facebook lost nearly $50 billion in market cap since the  Cambridge Analytics data scandal
All the Ways Facebook Won’t Let You Quit
U.S. Stocks Plummet Amid Tech Selloff
Launches
YouTube rolls out a new feature that lets you ‘go live’ from the desktop without an encoder
Takes
Facebook’s Silence on the Cambridge Analytica Scandal
Facebook failing, Zuckerberg and Sandberg absent: Commentary
Hm, I Wonder What Mark Zuckerberg’s Up To On Facebook Right Now
The real scandal isn’t Cambridge Analytica. It’s Facebook’s whole business model.
What Was Cambridge Analytica Doing in Developing Countries?
Google and Facebook can’t help publishers because they’re built to defeat publishers
And here’s your take of the day, from the man who made $6.5 billion selling his app to Facebook:
Brian Acton
It is time. #deletefacebook
4:00 PM - 20 Mar 2018
And finally ...
Meme Restaurant Kickstarter Received Harassing Messages
What do you know that I don't?
DM me for my Signal, or hit me at casey@theverge.com.
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