Listen: Facebook had hired a Washington firm to discredit its critics, reports New York Times
"Bombshell investigation by the New York Times revealing that Facebook executives, including CEO, Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg or aware of a Russian misinformation campaign on social media network and took a series of extrordinary private actions to preserve Facebook's reputation launching an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat critics and spread misinformation. The New York Times investigation reveals that Facebook hired the Republican position research firm definers public affairs to discredit critics of Facebook linking them to the billionaire liberal donor. George syrups Facebook also allegedly lobby to Jewish civil rights group to condemn criticism of. The company scientists semitic since the publication of the investigation face because announced it will cut to is with the Finers during Thursday's press. Call Zuckerberg dismiss claims Facebook ignored Russia's election meddling or undermined investigations. Many times before that we were to slow to spot Russian interference to stand it into slow to get on top of it. And we certainly stumbled along the way. Suggest that we weren't interested in knowing the truth or that we wanted to hide what we knew or that we try to prevent investigations is simply untrue. Zac, lemberg dodge questions about anyone being fired in light of the New York Times revelations. He said Facebook plans to institute an independent oversight board for more. We go to Washington DC where we're joined by Rashad Robinson, president of color of change one of the organizations targeted by definers, public affairs. The PR company Facebook, employed and endure New Hampshire. We're joined by C Vijay Nahthen, the author of antisocial media, how Facebook disconnects us and undermines democracy. He's a professor of media studies and director of the center for media and citizenship at the university of Virginia. His new article for slate is headline Facebook is a normal sleazy company. Now, we welcome. You voted mockery. Now, Seeven let's begin with you, can you summarize the New York Times investigation, and what most surprised and. Turned you about what it revealed about Facebook. Yeah. Sure. The look this time investigation took more than six months it required. The work of more than five reporters and a team of researchers it delved, very deeply into former Facebook employees and current Facebook employs and their testimony about what went on inside the company and just as importantly in Washington DC over the past two years now over the past two years, we have had this barrage. Revelations about Facebook. The the big picture is Facebook is impossible to govern impossible to control and Facebook had explicitly encouraged, for instance, all of our personal data to go out to third parties and fourth parties parties like Cambridge Analytica. We can't even know we're all this data win that was one scandal. The other scandalous Facebook is the -ceptable beyond susceptible Facebook amplifies, all sorts of misinformation propaganda disinformation much of which came from Russia trying to mess with American democracy. But a lot of it comes dmed. Soclean to domesticate groups comes from political operatives who seem a bit more mainstream within all of this right Facebook. We know has been scrambling to make sense of it has been declaring itself innocent and ignorant for for months and for years. Mark Zuckerberg has seemed stunned by this sort of cognitive dissonance that that his this this thing he created that was was to unify the world and make us all treat each other better his turned out to do just the opposite. What the times report showed is first of all that. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg has been checked out for more than two years. He's just not on top of the daily operations. He has let other people handle the reactions to these revelations and those other people include his chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. But but there's a whole team of people, including a number of lobbyists who either worked directly for Facebook or have been contracting from Facebook, and they have been and this what's really mind blowing they have been distributing the same kinds of propaganda that have been. Undermining faith in American institutions and American democracy. The same kinds of propaganda that have been distracting us, the same kinds of propaganda that have generated violence and other parts of the world, the same kinds of propaganda that link crew predicts to George Soros, they Facebook is basically employed a company to engage in the very sorts of of propaganda anti semitic and otherwise against its critics its critics"