At the recent Code conference in California, two of Facebook’s senior executives, COO Sheryl Sandberg and CTO Mike Schroepfer, stated their plans to mend the platform after the controversies that engulfed the social networking company. The gist of this conversation was similar to their boss, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who represented the company in front of legislative bodies in the US and UK.
During the conference, Sandberg accepted the fact that her company did not take any rapid actions with regards to the issues Facebook faced; however, they have repaired the situation and are currently working swiftly to address these issues.
“We definitely know we’re late,” she said. “We said we’re sorry but sorry isn’t the point. The point is the action we’re taking. On all of these fronts, we’re thinking about responsibility in very different ways.”
Schroepfer, who was also questioned by UK’s Parliament last month, portrayed the sweeping changes at the company as “the biggest cultural shift in the ten years I’ve been there.”
Twice before, Apple CEO Tim Cook has commented over Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data fiasco. In March this year, he mentioned that Facebook is “beyond” regulation. Zuckerberg retorted to Cook’s comments as “extremely glib.” At the conference, Sandberg was also asked to comment on Cook’s comments about Facebook.
She said: “Mark [Zuckerberg] and I strongly disagree with their characterization of our product. We’re proud of the business model we’ve built. We have an ad-supported business that allows people all around the world to use a product for free.”
CTO Schroepfer, who appeared alongside Sandberg in the conference, added that it would be a popular thing to kick Facebook, however, he would want a more sophisticated debate about privacy.
“The thing that I wish we could spend more time on is the substance of these issues. Times when you can get nice quippy soundbites and kick someone when it’s popular, and they’re down – that’s us right now. I get it, we in many ways deserve it,” he said.
Both the executives also covered a lot of topics on the economics of clickbait articles; by using third-party fact-checkers at the Associated Press across 50 states to fight against fake news; and reducing the type of data usage in third-party apps that turned out to be problematic with Cambridge Analytica.