How did your week go? Well, I guess arduous enough because we all face challenges, both small and big.
But you probably didn’t let down a large number of your 3.5 billion clients with an unannounced six-hour downtime or have your public image shattered by claims of intentionally stirring online hate.
That was Mark Zuckerberg’s week, the thirty-seven-year-old CEO and Chairman of Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Though not new in some ways, Zuckerberg has been in the spotlight in the previous years with Scandals involving political meddling and illegal data harvesting. But these new accusations are more personal, more acute, and tragic than the previous ones.
But How did Zuckerberg’s Week Turn Out to Be a Nightmare?
It all started with catastrophic changes to the configuration of the routers that link Facebook’s data centers. This technical failure removed Facebook services from the internet for six hours.
Zuckerberg must have thought “Grace at last” after his technical team brought Facebook back online, but that was not the case. What followed next is a nightmare he wishes to wake up from.
Facebook’s former employee, Frances Haugen, provided Facebook’s internal documents to Wall Street Journals. These documents served as a source for a series of Wall Street Journal articles aimed at throwing Facebook under the bus for prioritizing profits over users’ safety.
Haugen went ahead to present the documents in congress, saying that she witnessed Facebook repeatedly clash with its profits and users’ safety but resolved these issues in favor of its profits.
The CEO has been under pressure for days to say something, anything, about the torrent of criticism engulfing his organization.
Along with the accusation that Facebook is ignoring its research showing that Instagram is affecting teenagers’ mental health, that charge has prompted a response from the CEO. Zuckerberg dismissed the notion that Facebook is prioritizing profits over the well-being of its users.
“We believe that our systems are the most effective in the social media industry at reducing harmful content. The allegations that we deliberately promote content that upsets individuals for financial gain is ridiculous.” He said.
Zuckerberg said this in a belligerent tone that contrasted with his typical even-keeled public demeanor.