Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently spoke to his employees about the company’s place in the current political climate as internet regulation and customer privacy continue to be major issues in the 2020 Presidential election, and leaked audio has not gone over well with some fans. Zuckerberg says he is ready to go to war with Senator Elizabeth Warren if she is elected President and believes that Facebook would win the legal challenge.
The Verge obtained more than two hours of leaked audio from Zuckerberg’s Q&A sessions with employees that took place in July where he says that he plans to sue Warren and the United States government if she becomes POTUS because she wants to break up large companies like Facebook.
“And does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government,” said Zuckerberg. “I mean … It’s like, we care about our country, and want to work with our government and do good things. But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and fight.”
Warren has been one of the most vocal presidential candidates when it comes to tech companies and their data collection. She’s also been a vocal critic of Facebook’s role in the 2016 presidential election, as they allowed different companies and governments to use their social media platform to target voters and spread disinformation.
After the leaked Zuckerberg audio made its way to Twitter, many claimed they are supporting the right candidate if the billionaire tech mogul doesn’t like her. Some liked the fact that Warren doesn’t have fans on Wall Street, and others noticed that Zuckerberg’s billions haven’t bought him “an interesting personality or melanin or friends.”
During his talk, Zuckerberg also claimed that Twitter can’t do as good of a job as Facebook in this political climate because they can’t put in the investment needed to protect their users. He says that Facebook has invested more money into safety than “the whole revenue of their company.”
Imagine Facebook and Instagram trying to outdo each other to protect your privacy and keep misinformation out of your feed, instead of working together to sell your data, inundate you with misinformation, and undermine our election security. That's why we need to #BreakUpBigTech.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 1, 2019
Warren used Twitter to respond to Zuckerberg, writing that would really “suck” is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that allows “giant companies like Facebook to engage in illegal anticompetitive practices.” She also claimed Zuckerberg’s company “stomps on privacy rights” and they “repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.”
This past summer, Facebook received a $5 billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission over privacy issues. And, the company also settled a $100 million case with the Securities and Exchange Commission over misleading investors about the mishandling of user data. Still, the company beat earnings expectations last quarter, which caused the price of Facebook stock to rise.