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Zuckerberg discusses Twitter, TikTok, Big Tech breakup in leaked audio

Rappler.com
A two-hour audio recording of the Facebook CEO at internal meetings comes out

ZUCKERBERG. In this file photo taken on May 24, 2018, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg looks on during the VivaTech (Viva Technology) trade fair in Paris. File photo by Gerard Julien/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Technology website The Verge published on Tuesday, October 1, US time, audio recordings of Mark Zuckerberg at internal Facebook meetings

In the recordings, the Facebook CEO discussed pressing issues surrounding the platform, including calls for the breakup of Big Tech companies, planned cryptocurrency Libra, content moderation, rising competitors specifically TikTok, and how to handle friends who may have a negative view on Facebook. 

The two-hour recordings are from “two open meetings with employees in July” wherein Facebook staff were able to openly ask the CEO questions, with the executive speaking in a more “candid” way than in his public statements. 

On having the company broken up, in efforts partially by 2020 presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren, Zuckerberg said he believes that a breakup is not going to solve issues such as election interference. In fact, he said, breaking up the companies would only make it “more likely because now the companies can’t work and coordinate together.”

He said he doesn’t want legal troubles with the US government – something he said they’d have on their hands if Warren wins the seat – but if it comes to that, then “you go to the mat and you fight.”

Zuckerberg joked about Twitter, still on the same issue, because while Twitter faces a similar set of problems, they “can’t put in the investment” as Facebook’s investment on safety is “bigger than the whole revenue of their company.”

The Twitter joke reflected the tone of the whole meeting, The Verge noted, as Zuckerberg also mused he would have been fired a long time ago if he had not negotiated for full control. The executive also said that it just wouldn’t have made sense for him to go to hearings in every single country regarding the issues – specifically the Cambridge Analytica debacle – mentioning that he’s done hearings in the US and the EU. 

Zuckerberg characterized as “dramatic” news coming out on Libra facing criticism from regulators, and content moderators seeing disturbing material. He said that the real work gets done behind the scenes when it comes to Libra, and that it’s important for him that moderators get the necessary support to deal with what they see. 

“But there are really bad things that people have to deal with, and making sure that people get the right counseling and space and ability to take breaks and get the mental health support that they need is a really important thing,” he said. 

He also acknowledged the rise of social media app TikTok, which they’re dealing with via a new app in Mexico called Lasso. Lasso is currently being tested in that market to see how it would work where TikTok currently doesn’t exist, before they go and compete in TikTok-occupied markets. 

The full transcipt is here. Rappler.com