Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg spoke to employees in a private session over the summer in which he detailed the challenges the company will face in the near future and among those challenges is the possible presidency of Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.
The Verge obtained an audio recording of the employees-only meeting in which Zuckerberg personally pointed a finger at Warren and warned that the company could be broken up if she wins.
ZUCKERBERG: "You have someone like Elizabeth Warren thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies … I mean, if she gets elected president then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge. And does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government. I mean, that’s not the position that you want to be in when you’re, you know, I mean … It’s like, we care about our country, and want to work with our government and do good things. But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and fight."
It's natural, of course, that Zuckerberg wants to protect his creation from the possibility of being broken up, but I find it concerning that he would explicitly point a finger at a Democratic presidential candidate while detailing threats to the company.
What message does this send to employees? What message does it send to employees who are ostensibly responsible for ensuring that Facebook is not used the way it was used in 2016?
Upon hearing that Warren is an existential threat to Facebook, will employees exercise all due diligence to stop the spread of fake news and conspiracy theories targeting Warren? Will the company fight misinformation about other Democrats? Will Facebook allow the Trump regime and his supporters to skirt rules against misinformation because it will harm Warren or another candidate?
That we even have to ask these questions because Facebook has such an overwhelming presence and amount of power in media may be evidence that the company should be broken up.
At this point, I personally do not intend to vote for Warren once the Democratic primary reaches my state, but she could very well win the primary and then find herself in the same position as Hillary Clinton was in 2016: fighting virtually the entire mediapshere led by a weaponized Facebook.
If Facebook is used to spoil another election, Zuckerberg has to know the company is finished. Actual pitchforks could be involved.