Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg responded to criticism from Tim Cook, saying the Apple chief’s analysis of his business was “glib” and untruthful. Last week, Cook blasted Facebook over its business model which monetized its customers at the expense of their privacy.
“You know, I find that argument, that if you’re not paying, that somehow we can’t care about you to be extremely glib. And not at all aligned with the truth,” Zuckerberg told Vox Media founder Ezra Klein in an interview released Monday.
“The reality here is that if you wanna build a service that helps connect everyone in the world, then there are a lot of people who can’t afford to pay. And therefore, as with a lot of media, having an advertising-supported model is the only rational model that can support building this service to reach people.”
Zuckerberg continued his defense, saying that just because the company sold user data to advertisers to sustain its billion-dollar social media empire, doesn’t mean that he is unsympathetic to user concerns.
“I make all of our decisions based on what’s going to matter to our community and improve the experience and focus much less and very little on the advertising side of the business.”
Zuckerberg has been humbled in recent weeks after his company became embroiled in a scandal surrounding protection of user data. Cambridge Analytica, a company closely aligned with Republicans working to elect Donald Trump, used data improperly collected from 50 million accounts to develop targeted Facebook messaging on the platform. The resulting outrage has led to a decline in the company’s stock price.
Even before the Cambridge Analytica revelation, Facebook had been facing questions over whether they had too easily allowed itself to be used by foreign interests to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.