I came across a post on Bloomberg’s daily email newsletter about Zuckerberg and Sandberg’s role in covering up the extent Facebook was involved in the Russia campaign.
A paragraph stood and made me take a pause from the view I held till that point:
But unfortunately for his critics, Zuckerberg’s super-voting shares give him total control over Facebook. He’s CEO for life if he wants to be.
Silicon Valley has long debated how much power founders should wield over the companies they create. As with dictators in governments, there are benefits to one-person rule. A good leader can make swift, sometimes unpopular decisions for the good of the country—or the monthly active users, as the case may be. It can make transitioning to mobile quickly pretty easy.
On the other hand, having one of the world’s richest men lead one of the world’s largest and most influential companies while accountable to no one, has some obvious downsides too. At every turn, Facebook has understated its role in the Russian propaganda effort. And the company has been slow to address disinformation and hateful conspiracy theories, even as the platform, in its rush to expand, played a major role in fueling a genocide in Myanmar.
This made me change my tune till then because, as evident in this article, we’re very quick to form an opinion that we ourselves, with all due respect, know nothing about. It’s very easy for us to form an opinion along the lines of : “Zuckerberg doesn’t care about his users, he’s just after the money”.
As we’ve never been in a situation as unique as his – being one of the wealthiest men on the planet, looking after the most influential social network in the world, we wouldn’t know if we’d react any differently.
Maybe he’s in a lose-lose situation -there’s no easy solution regardless of which direction Facebook goes.
I think it’s worth bearing in mind that we are all fighting our own demons and dealing with our own struggles, before being too quick to pass judgement on his performance of CEO.