Elizabeth Warren and Mark Zuckerberg Face Off In War Of Online WordsOctober 2, 2019
After some comments by Mark Zuckerberg at an internal Facebook meeting in July leaked out Tuesday in which the CEO spoke candidly about his concerns for a possible Elizabeth Warren presidency, Warren responded pointedly on Twitter — and it didn’t end there.
The Verge published a transcript of leaked audio from one of the weekly town-hall-style meetings that Zuckerberg holds with employees, apparently seeking in this one to allay concerns about the future of the company and the general onslaught of bad press over the last 18 months. When asked about calls to break up Facebook, by Warren and others, Zuck responded thusly:
“So there might be a political movement where people are angry at the tech companies or are worried about concentration or worried about different issues and worried that they’re not being handled well. That doesn’t mean that, even if there’s anger and that 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.”
Zuck went on to make the case that the major issues of the day on social media, things like election interference, terrorism, and hate speech, aren’t going to go away if the companies become more fragmented — and it’s Facebook’s size that allows it to make the kind of investments in combatting bad actors that companies like Twitter, he says, can’t afford.
But Warren wasted no time using Twitter to respond directly to Zuckerberg, saying, “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.”
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
And it goes on!
Zuckerberg decided to own the leak, and published his own link to it in a Facebook post Tuesday morning, writing, “Now that it’s out there, you can check it out if you’re interested in seeing an unfiltered version of what I’m thinking and telling employees on a bunch of topics like social responsibility, breaking up tech companies, Libra, neural computing interfaces, and doing the right thing over the long term.”
Then Warren posted a five-tweet string on Tuesday expanding upon her plan to break up Big Tech. “Imagine Facebook and Instagram trying to outdo each other to protect your privacy and keep misinformation out of your feed, instead of working together to sell your data, inundate you with…