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Mark Zuckerberg should totally consider firing Facebook’s CEO

Published Mar 22nd, 2018 6:50AM EDT
Facebook Cambridge Analytica
Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

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Facebook’s problems have not disappeared just because Mark Zuckerberg finally addressed the Cambridge Analytica revelations. And things will probably get worse for the company, as it faces investigations and fines both at home and abroad.

If it were any other company, some might consider ousting the CEO and bringing in a fresh pair of hands to take Facebook to the future. But that won’t happen at Facebook, where the top shareholder, Mark Zuckerberg, isn’t likely to fire the current CEO.

Zuckerberg could have been a great CEO. All he had to do is to come out ahead o those reports, apologize for making it easy for anyone to grab Facebook user data back in the day and take full responsibility.

Facebook is an accomplice in all of this. Cambridge Analytica never stole user data. Whatever it could grab about users and their friends was because of Facebook. Because of Zuckerberg’s decisions back in the day.

It took Zuckerberg five days to come up with a response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, possibly the most significant user privacy breach in Facebook’s history.

He then needed close to 1,000 words in his status update to never apologize or use the word “sorry” when describing what happened. He also didn’t explain why Facebook never informed the public of what had happened, though it apparently knew about the whole data breach back in 2015.

Zuckerberg then needed a few more hours to utter the words “really sorry” on CNN and admit that regulation may be required.

We’ve seen this movie before. This isn’t the first time Facebook lets down its users. It’s not its first privacy scandal. But Facebook’s “we-should-do-better” defense seems to be taken from the very same playbook, lengthy essay and non-apologetic tone included.

Let’s not forget that everything that happens at Facebook happens because Zuckerberg says it can happen. He made Cambridge Analytica’s “breach” possible. And who’s to say others didn’t “steal” user data in a similar fashion? Zuckerberg can’t guarantee that. Well, at least he’s come a long way from saying that it’s a “crazy idea” to think that Russian-sponsored fake news on Facebook may have influenced the presidential election two years ago.

In any other company, maybe the top shareholders would consider replacing Zuckerberg with someone else. In this case, however, it so happens that Zuckerberg himself has a firm grip on the company, controlling nearly 60% of voting rights. So it’s actually Mark Zuckerberg who should totally consider firing Facebook’s CEO.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.