Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has had a tough couple of months.
Not only was the largest social network fined a record $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission but Facebook critic Sen. Elizabeth Warren is gaining ground in polls for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
And Tuesday, leaked audio surfaced of Zuckerberg addressing employees, where he confronts company critics in the U.S. government, business and the media. According to the Verge, he talks about a potential breakup of the company, takes on Twitter and the difficult rollout of its cryptocurrency Libra.
Regulators are fighting Facebook’s plans to launch Libra. The company also is losing ground to upstart Beijing ByteDance’s TikTock with younger users.
Like other social media platforms, Facebook also is under pressure to crack down on hate speech and misleading political ads. In fact, the Democratic National Committee today slammed Facebook for allowing Presidential Donald Trump to make misleading statements on its platform without being challenged.
Below are highlights of comments Zuckerberg made at the internal Facebook meeting:
- “If (Warren) 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.”
- “We get there are real issues” (around Libra). “Finance is a heavily regulated space.”
- Zuckerberg is impressed with TikTok and is currently testing a Facebook clone of the video app in Mexico.
- “We wouldn’t even be here if I didn’t have control” over Facebook. …We have had the ability to focus on what we think are the right things over a multi-year period.”
- “So, one of the social issues I really care about is making sure our products promote positive well-being. … We did a lot of research on well-being and what the research concluded is that there were basically two major uses of the Internet. There’s a big distinction between when you are connecting with people … and when you are just passively consuming content.”
- “You know for the first 10 years of the company, we got more glowing press than I think any company deserves. And it wasn’t just Facebook; it was the whole tech industry … A lot has changed in the past few years.”