The case Against Mark Zuckerberg (Latest Update)

Mark Zuckerberg faced an option of either complying with the demands by the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam to cut anti-government protestors or the threat of being knocked offline among one of the prime productive Asian markets of Facebook, late last year.

Mark Zuckerberg unwilling to draw defamatory and misleading content

The CEO of giant tech is an expert on free speech in America, unwilling to draw even defamatory and misleading content from the platform. However, in Vietnam, withholding the right to free speech of any individual who asks the government leaders might have shown up with a considerable expense in a country where the social media network makes money of more than $1 billion annually as per an estimation made in 2018 by Amnesty International.

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Therefore, Zuckerberg reached a decision that Facebook would adhere to the demands of Hanoi following three individuals up to date with the decision talking on the criteria of obscurity to explain internal company conferences. According to local activists and free speech advocates, Before Vietnam’s party congress in January, Facebook notably raised the cutting out of “anti-state” posts, providing the government with almost complete charge over the platform.

Series of Whistleblower filed a complaint against Mark Zuckerberg

As per the interviews of more than a dozen of former employees of Facebook, Zuckerberg’s part in the Vietnam decision, which was not reported previously, represents his unwillingness to ensure Facebook’s supremacy, and sometimes even at the cost of his stated values. That standard has come into light following a chain of whistleblower complaints filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by Frances Haugen, who is the precedent Facebook product manager.

case Against Mark Zuckerberg
case Against Mark Zuckerberg

Though it’s not clear if the SEC will accept the case or take steps against Zuckerberg personally, the accusations claimed by the whistleblower exemplify potentially the deepest and extreme challenge to the leadership of the strongest social media company in the world.

As stated by the experts, the SEC which holds the authority to require depositions, impose fines on him, and even pull him out as chairman, is probably to go more inside the matter to find out what he knew and when. 

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To be precise, Zuckerberg has made uncountable decisions and calls that indicated a hard-line dedication to free speech. According to a statement given to The Post, in fact in Vietnam also, the company claims that the option to edit or cut down is suitable “to ensure our services remain available for millions of people who rely on them every day.”

What has been said by Frances Haugen, the precedent Facebook product manager?

During her congressional testimony, she continuously alleged Zuckerberg for picking growth upon the public safety, an accusation that boomed in the interviews with most of the precedent employees. 

A former vice president of partnerships and marketing who resigned in 2020 following coming to learn that the platform was dividing society, Brian Boland, said that “The specter of Zuckerberg looms in everything the company does,” adding further “It is entirely driven by him.”

Dani Lever, who is a spokesperson of Facebook, refused that decision taken by Zuckerberg “cause harm,” stating that the cite was based on “selected documents that are mischaracterized and devoid of any context.”

She said “We have no commercial or moral incentive to do anything other than giving the maximum number of people as much of a positive experience as possible,” adding further “Like every platform, we are constantly making difficult decisions between free expressions and harmful speech, security and other issues, and we don’t make these decisions inside a vacuum — we rely on the input of our teams, as well as external subject matter experts to navigate them. But drawing these societal lines is always better left to elected leaders which is why we’ve spent many years advocating for Congress to pass updated Internet regulations.”

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Earlier, Facebook opposed and put efforts to withhold Zuckerberg personally responsible. In 2019, the giant tech was imposed a whopping penalty of an amount of $5 billion from the Federal Trade Commission for breach of privacy about Cambridge Analytica for sharing the profile data of thousands of millions of Facebook users.

Facebook then tried to negotiate to save Zuckerberg from that much payment liability. Some sources also confirmed that the giant tech was even ready to come into a settlement and resolve the matter outside the court only but the agency stipulated on chasing the CEO.

Sean McKessy, the first chief of the SEC’s whistleblower office, now representing whistleblowers in private practice at Phillips & Cohen, said that Zuckerberg “has to be the driver of these decisions,” adding further “This is not a typical public company with checks and balances.

This is not a democracy, it’s an authoritarian state. … And although the SEC doesn’t have the strongest track record of holding individuals accountable, I certainly could see this case as being a poster child for doing so.”

What has been claimed by a former Facebook executive?

A former executive claimed that Zuckerberg is extremely inquisitive about anything that impacts how content gets ranked in the feed because that’s the secret sauce, that’s the way this whole thing keeps spinning and working and making profits.” The person added further saying “People felt it was Mark’s thing, so he needs it to be successful. It needs to work,”

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Following Zuckerberg giving his consent to boost cut down of anti-government posts, the transparency report of Facebook reflects that over 2,200 posts from users of Vietnam were removed just in between July and December 2020, in comparison with 834 in the earlier six months.

Meanwhile, Pro-democracy and environmental groups have become an object of government-led mass reporting programs, the interviews and documents reflect, putting people behind jail for even slightly critical posts.

What was in the readout from the Zuckerberg meeting?

Anna Stepanov, the director, while giving the readout from the Zuckerberg meeting regarding the response of the CEO to the offer to modify the algorithm, said that “Mark doesn’t think we could go broad,” adding further “We wouldn’t launch if there was a material trade-off with MSI.”


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