Commentary

Facebook CEO Has Fightin' Words For Elizabeth Warren

Facebook founder-CEO Mark Zuckerberg is ready to fight back against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the Democratic presidential candidate who has called for the breakup of the social-media giant.

Perhaps Facebook is already designing artificial intelligence to vaporize her political ambitions. This thought occurred to me after reading a leaked transcript of an internal company Q&A with Zuckerberg.

In the transcript, an unidentified questioner asks Zuckerberg whether he's worried the U.S. government will try to break up Facebook amid an antitrust investigation and Warren's rising approval in the polls. In March, Warren said in a blog post that Facebook's acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp should be reversed to restore competition and consumer choice -- remarkable for someone who wants a single-payer healthcare system

advertisement

advertisement

“If she [Warren] 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," Zuckerberg said. "And does that still suck for us? Yeah.”

What also sucks for Facebook are the antitrust investigations by the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and a group of state attorneys general led by New York, Reuters reported.

During the Q&A, Zuckerberg said that while the company cares about the country and wants to work with the government, "at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight."

Should Warren, or the U.S. government, be worried about Zuckerberg's power to influence public opinion?

That depends on how ruthless the company wants to be in fending off political opponents.

When faced with rivals like Snapchat, Houseparty and TikTok, Facebook has copied their features to give users one less reason to leave its own apps.

In beating back antitrust scrutiny, there's nothing stopping Facebook from mounting a massive campaign that tells 2.7 billion users worldwide how they'll be harmed by a company breakup. Why not urge them to call their government representatives to express their opposition, or to vote for pro-Facebook candidates?

Zuckerberg said he's willing to go the mat, and so far, there's nothing stopping him.

Next story loading loading..