In an interview, the Facebook CEO tells The Atlantic he’s not walking away from the company, but he is looking for outside expertise.
Mark Zuckerberg’s story doesn’t quite line up.
For months, the Facebook chief executive has described the 2016 election as a turning point both for him and for the company over which he holds enormous power.
The cavalcade of scandals that followed that November—disputes over user data, fake news, and Russia’s manipulation of the platform—has led to a “very basic shift in how we view our responsibility,” he said in an interview with The Atlanticon Friday. Now, Zuckerberg is transforming the company, opening it up to public scrutiny in unprecedented ways. “A big theme” going forward, he said, will be getting “independent expertise and assessment of the work that we’re doing.”
Yet Zuckerberg—who is not only Facebook’s CEO, but also the chairman of its board and its majority voting shareholder—struggled to describe when his personal thinking about the company and its philosophy shifted. He could not articulate what changed his mind or drove him to adopt the new approach.
“Well, I certainly feel very bad, and I’m sorry that we did not do a better job of finding the Russian interference during the 2016 election,” Zuckerberg told me. “I mean, that was a huge miss.”