Inside Facebook’s Push to Defend Its Image

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The improvements have associated Fb executives from its marketing and advertising, communications, coverage and integrity teams. Alex Schultz, a 14-calendar year enterprise veteran who was named chief promoting officer previous 12 months, has also been influential in the picture reshaping effort, reported five people who worked with him. But at minimum a person of the selections was driven by Mr. Zuckerberg, and all were accepted by him, three of the folks stated.

Credit score…Tommaso Boddi/Getty Pictures

Joe Osborne, a Facebook spokesman, denied that the firm experienced altered its strategy.

“People are entitled to to know the techniques we’re having to address the distinct difficulties struggling with our business — and we’re heading to share those techniques extensively,” he explained in a assertion.

For yrs, Fb executives have chafed at how their company appeared to obtain additional scrutiny than Google and Twitter, mentioned present-day and previous workers. They attributed that interest to Facebook’s leaving alone far more uncovered with its apologies and giving entry to interior facts, the people today reported.

So in January, executives held a digital meeting and broached the plan of a more aggressive protection, 1 attendee said. The group discussed working with the News Feed to market beneficial news about the corporation, as very well as running adverts that joined to favorable articles or blog posts about Fb. They also debated how to determine a professional-Fb tale, two participants said.

That identical thirty day period, the communications team mentioned techniques for executives to be much less conciliatory when responding to crises and resolved there would be less apologizing, stated two men and women with information of the plan.

Mr. Zuckerberg, who experienced turn out to be intertwined with coverage issues together with the 2020 election, also preferred to recast himself as an innovator, the people today claimed. In January, the communications crew circulated a doc with a tactic for distancing Mr. Zuckerberg from scandals, partly by concentrating his Fb posts and media appearances on new solutions, they claimed.

The Information, a tech information site, beforehand described on the doc.

The effect was rapid. On Jan. 11, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief functioning officer — and not Mr. Zuckerberg — advised Reuters that the storming of the U.S. Capitol a 7 days before had small to do with Facebook. In July, when President Biden reported the social community was “killing people” by spreading Covid-19 misinformation, Male Rosen, Facebook’s vice president for integrity, disputed the characterization in a weblog submit and pointed out that the White Home had skipped its coronavirus vaccination goals.