Apologies Are Not Enough, Zuck: It's Time to Step Down

It would 'benefit the planet as a whole,' writes Felix Salmon
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2018 12:11 PM CDT
Apologies Are Not Enough, Zuck: It's Time to Step Down
In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg meets with a group of entrepreneurs and innovators during a round-table discussion in St. Louis.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

With pressure mounting on Mark Zuckerberg, he has taken responsibility for the Cambridge Analytica scandal. He has apologized. He has apparently agreed to testify before a House committee. But that's not enough for Felix Salmon: "Zuckerberg’s resignation would open up the possibility of a world-changing and reputation-enhancing second chapter, not only for him personally but also for Facebook the corporation," he writes at Wired. "More important, those changes would clearly benefit the planet as a whole." Salmon argues that Zuckerberg—who is all-powerful as Facebook's CEO and chairman of the board—has lost the public trust and needs to "hit the reset button" on Facebook before leaving the helm to a hand-chosen successor.

Why the radical solution? Because "Facebook has gone way too far in terms of treating its users as eyeballs to be manipulated and monetized," writes Salmon. Now Facebook must return to its "social mission" of giving people what they want—community, friends, updates, news—while respecting their private data and selling only mass-market ads, not targeted ones. Yes, Facebook's stock would fall, but not fatally. Then Zuckerberg could focus on running the charitable Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and leave Facebook to ... Katherine Maher, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. "It's impossible to think of a proven leader more mission-driven than Maher," writes Salmon. "Even Facebook’s most vocal critics would find themselves applauding the move." See Salmon's full piece. (More Facebook stories.)

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