These changes involve Facebook executives from the marketing, communications, policy, and integrity teams. Alex Schultz, a 14-year-old company that was elected chief marketing officer last year, is also an influencer in efforts to reshape its image, said five people who have worked with him. But at least one of the decisions was directed by Zuckerberg and all approved by him, three of the people said.
Joe Osborne, a Facebook spokesman, denied that the company had changed its approach.
“People deserve to know the steps we are taking to address the various issues our company faces – and we will share those steps widely,” he said in a statement. .
For years, Facebook executives lashed out at how their company seemed to receive more scrutiny than Google and Twitter, current and former employees said. They argue that attention led Facebook to expose itself more with apologies and access to internal data, the people said.
So in January, executives held a virtual meeting and pitched the idea of a more aggressive safeguard, one attendee said. The group discussed using News Feed to promote positive news about the company, as well as running ads that link to beneficial Facebook articles. They also debated how to define a pro-Facebook story, two participants said.
That same month, the communications team discussed ways for executives to be less conciliatory in their response to the crisis and decided there would be fewer apologies, two people familiar with the plan said.
Mr. Zuckerberg, who has been engaged on policy issues including the 2020 election, also wants to reimagine himself as an innovator, the people said. In January, the media group circulated a document with a strategy to keep Zuckerberg away from scandals, in part by focusing Facebook posts and media appearances on products. new, they said.
Information, a technology news website, previously covered this document.
The impact is immediate. On January 11, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief executive officer – not Mr. Zuckerberg – told Reuters that the storm on the US Capitol a week earlier had little to do with Facebook. In July, when President Biden said the social network was “killing people” by spreading misinformation about Covid-19, Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, countered the characterization. this in a blog post and pointed out that the White House had neglected to vaccinate against the coronavirus. goal.