Washington Post media critic Margaret Sullivan Monday called on Facebook founder and Chairman Mark Zuckerberg to step down from his position, amid a New York Times report into the company’s attempt to combat critics.
“Facebook, whether it wants to admit it or not, is in serious crisis,” wrote Sullivan in her piece. “If Zuckerberg really wants to be “responsible for what happened here, he’ll step aside as chairman and encourage some stringent internal oversight.”
“Leaders — capable leaders — don’t do what Zuckerberg has done in the face of disaster that they themselves have presided over,” she added. “He’s shown that he’s incapable of leading the broken behemoth that is Facebook.”
Last week, The New York Times published a five-byline piece about the inner workings of Facebook, as the company faced bipartisan onslaught over their handling of fake news and foreign trolls which proliferated on the platform during the 2016 election and beyond.
The company employed an outside firm that planted fake news about critics, some of which included tying them to liberal financier George Soros, the Times reported. The piece also reported an extensive lobbying campaign to ward off the possibility of federal overnight and that Facebook had not been transparent about the extent of their issues with the American public.
A rep for Facebook had no comment regarding Sullivan’s comments, but last week, company COO Sheryl Sandberg pushed back against the Times report.
“We absolutely did not pay anyone to create fake news — that they have assured me was not happening,” Sandberg told “CBS This Morning” co-host Norah O’Donnell. “And again, we’re doing a thorough look into what happened but they have assured me that we were not paying anyone to either write or promote anything that was false. And that’s very important.”