Sheryl Sandberg Defends Herself

COO gives first interview since a new book was published
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2020 7:30 PM CST
Updated Feb 28, 2020 1:00 AM CST
Sheryl Sandberg Defends Herself, Zuckerberg and Facebook
Sheryl Sandberg in London last month.   (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)

Sheryl Sandberg defended herself and her leadership in her first interview since a new book about Facebook was published, while offering a new reason for not fact-checking political ads. Asked about claims in Facebook: The Inside Story, by Steven Levy, that she's a controlling boss who yells at employees, Sandberg said, well, kind of. "I'm a demanding boss, and I'm a tough boss," NBC reports she said. "I think I'm a very fair boss. But I'm demanding." CEO Mark Zuckerberg also takes unfair criticism, Sandberg said. "I wish so much that the world could see the Mark I know," Facebook's COO said, adding: "People think he doesn't understand people. That's just clearly wrong." Their public images aren't important anyway, Sandberg said. "The issue is how are we doing as a company? How do we provide a great service, and how do we prevent some of the harm?"

Sandberg addressed some of that harm with a new defense, per Business Insider, in an interview with the Byers Market podcast: Facebook doesn't fact-check political ads because it can't. "If you look at political ads and fact-checking political ads," Sandberg said, "that's really not something anyone is capable of doing. And we don't think we can make ourselves the arbiter of the truth." Before, she and Zuckerberg said Facebook doesn't fact-check because political ads shouldn't be censored, falling under free speech protections. They also argued that political ads provide only a tiny part of Facebook's revenue. Those and similar defenses haven't gone over well. (Read more Sheryl Sandberg stories.)

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