Sheryl Sandberg recognized she’d be inquired about the assaults on the Capitol.

For the previous week, the nation had actually been reeling from the physical violence in Washington, as well as with each passing day, press reporters were discovering even more of the impact left by the rioters on social networks.

Speaking to the electronic cameras rolling in her sun-filled Menlo Park, Calif., yard, Ms. Sandberg challenged this concern, one she’d gotten ready for: Could Facebook have acted earlier to assist stop this?

Ms. Sandberg kept in mind that the firm had actually removed numerous web pages sustaining the Proud Boys, a reactionary militia, as well as “Stop the Steal” teams arranged around the incorrect insurance claim that President Donald J. Trump had actually won the 2020 political election. Enforcement was never ever excellent, she included, so some inflammatory blog posts stayed up. But, she included, the blame mostly lay somewhere else.

“I think these events were largely organized on platforms that don’t have our abilities to stop hate, don’t have our standards, and don’t have our transparency,” she claimed.

That remark was grabbed by information electrical outlets throughout the globe. Outraged participants of Congress as well as scientists that researched conservative teams implicated Facebook of renouncing obligation.

Those within Ms. Sandberg’s internal circle informed her what she wished to listen to: Her words were being secured of context, reporters were unjustly overdoing, it wasn’t her mistake.

But in various other components of the firm, execs murmured per various other that Ms. Sandberg had, once more, blundered. She was dispersing blame actors on her, or Facebook, they claimed.

Days later on, charges started to roll in for the rioters that had actually participated in the assaults.

In one charge, attorneys exposed exactly how, in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 assaults, Thomas Caldwell as well as participants of his militia team, the Oath Keepers, had actually freely reviewed over Facebook the resort spaces, plane tickets as well as various other logistics around their journey to Washington.

On the day itself, individuals easily commemorated with blog posts on Facebook as well as Instagram. Minutes after Mr. Trump finished his speech with a contact us to his advocates to “Walk down Pennsylvania Avenue” towards the Capitol structure, where numerous participants of Congress rested, individuals within the group utilized their phones to livestream encounter authorities as well as the storming of the barriers outside the structure. Many, consisting of Mr. Caldwell, were obtaining messages on Facebook Messenger from allies enjoying their breakthrough from afar.

“All members are in the tunnel under” the Capitol checked out the message Mr. Caldwell obtained as he neared the structure. Referring to participants of Congress, the message included, “Seal them in. Turn on Gas.”

Moments later on, Mr. Caldwell published a fast upgrade on Facebook that checked out, “Inside.”

The charges made it clear simply exactly how big a component Facebook had actually played, both in spreading out false information concerning political election scams to sustain temper amongst the Jan. 6 militants, as well as in helping the extremist militia’s interaction in advance of the troubles. For months, Facebook would certainly be an explanation to a day that tested the heart of American freedom. And Ms. Sandberg’s words trying to put the blame somewhere else would certainly remain to haunt her.

In the years because Mr. Trump won the 2016 political election, Facebook has actually had problem with the duty it played in his surge as well as in the development of democratic leaders throughout the globe. The very same devices that permitted Facebook’s organization to greater than dual throughout those years — such as the News Feed that focused on interaction as well as the Facebook teams that pressed similar individuals with each other — had actually been made use of to spread out false information.

To attain its record-setting development, the firm had actually proceeded structure on its core innovation, making organization choices based upon the number of hrs of the day individuals invested in Facebook as well as the number of times a day they returned. Facebook’s formulas didn’t determine if the magnetic pressure drawing them back to Facebook was the behavior of desiring a good friend satisfied birthday celebration, or a bunny opening of conspiracy theories as well as false information.

Facebook’s troubles were functions, not pests, as well as were the all-natural outgrowth of a 13-year collaboration in between Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s president as well as among its creators, as well as his erudite organization companion, Ms. Sandberg, its principal running policeman. He was the innovation dreamer as well as she comprehended exactly how to produce income from the interest of Facebook’s currently 2.8 billion customers. They operated in show to produce the globe’s most significant exchange of suggestions as well as interaction.

This account, adjusted from an upcoming publication on Facebook, is attracted from greater than 400 meetings, consisting of those with previous as well as present workers of all degrees of the firm. The meetings repaint a picture of the Trump presidency as an attempting duration for the firm as well as for its leading leaders. The Trump age checked a main connection at Facebook — in between Ms. Sandberg as well as Mr. Zuckerberg — as well as she came to be progressively separated. Her duty as the C.E.O.’s second-in-command was much less particular with his altitude of numerous various other execs, as well as with her reducing impact in Washington.

The sight from inside the top tiers of the firm was clear: It really felt as if Facebook was no more led by a No. 1 as well as No. 2, however a No. 1 as well as numerous.

The set proceeded their twice-weekly conferences, however Mr. Zuckerberg took control of even more of the locations as soon as under her province. He made the last get in touch with concerns bordering Mr. Trump’s spread of hate speech as well as harmful false information, choices Ms. Sandberg usually lobbied versus or informed allies she really felt uneasy with. Mr. Zuckerberg looked after initiatives in Washington to repel policies as well as had actually built a pleasant connection with Mr. Trump. Ms. Sandberg bordered herself with a “kitchen cabinet” of outdoors political advisors as well as a group of public relationships authorities that were usually up in arms with others in the firm.

A spokesperson for Facebook rejected this characterization.

“The fault lines that the authors depict between Mark and Sheryl and the people who work with them do not exist,” claimed Dani Lever, the spokesperson. “All of Mark’s direct reports work closely with Sheryl and hers with Mark. Sheryl’s role at the company has not changed.”

It holds true that the core of the collaboration hasn’t officially transformed. Mr. Zuckerberg regulates the instructions of the firm as well as Ms. Sandberg the advertisement organization, which remains to rise unrelenting.

Both execs decreased to comment for this tale, probably allowing the firm’s efficiency promote itself.

Facebook’s market assessment is currently over $1 trillion.

A Christmas event is not a dreamland to prevent tiny talk, however Mr. Zuckerberg had actually gotten to the vacation celebration established to attempt. It was December 2007, as well as Facebook was still a personal firm with simply numerous hundred workers. Despite his hostility to event conversation, he permitted himself to be presented to Sheryl Sandberg.

From the minute they fulfilled, both have actually claimed, they noticed the possible to change the firm right into the worldwide power it is today.

As visitors loitered them, he defined his objective of transforming everyone in the nation with a net link right into a Facebook individual. It could have seemed like a dream to others, however Ms. Sandberg was captivated as well as tossed out suggestions concerning what it would certainly require to construct a service to stay up to date with that type of development. “It was actually smart. It was substantive,” Mr. Zuckerberg later on remembered. Ms. Sandberg would certainly take place to inform Dan Rose, a previous vice head of state at Facebook, that she felt she had actually been “put on this planet to scale organizations.”

After the Christmas event, Mr. Zuckerberg as well as Ms. Sandberg proceeded their discussions over late suppers at Ms. Sandberg’s favored area dining establishment, Flea Street, as well as her beautiful Atherton house. (Mr. Zuckerberg still stayed in a Palo Alto apartment or condo with just a futon on the flooring.) Ms. Sandberg strolled Mr. Zuckerberg with exactly how she had actually assisted broaden Google’s advertisement organization, transforming search inquiries right into information that offered marketers abundant understandings concerning customers, adding to the firm’s amazing capital.


Ms. Sandberg and Mr. Zuckerberg in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 2014. Her role as his second-in-command at Facebook became strained during the Trump era.
Credit…Andrew Gombert/European Pressphoto Agency

In some means, they were revers. Ms. Sandberg was a master supervisor as well as delegator. Her schedule at Google was arranged to the min. Meetings hardly ever ran long as well as usually finished at work things. At 38, she was 15 years older than Mr. Zuckerberg, remained in bed by 9: 30 p.m. as well as up every early morning by 6 for a difficult cardio exercise. He was an evening owl, coding method past twelve o’clock at night as well as up in time to straggle right into the workplace late in the early morning. Mr. Rose remembered being drawn right into conferences at 11 p.m., the center of Mr. Zuckerberg’s day.

Mr. Zuckerberg identified that Ms. Sandberg succeeded at, also appreciated, all the components of running a firm that he located unfulfilling. And she would certainly offer Facebook a property that her brand-new manager recognized he required: experience in Washington, D.C. Mr. Zuckerberg wasn’t curious about national politics as well as didn’t stay up to date with the information. The year prior to, while Mr. Zuckerberg was seeing Donald Graham, after that the chairman of The Washington Post, a press reporter handed the young C.E.O. a publication on national politics that the press reporter had actually composed. Mr. Zuckerberg claimed to Mr. Graham, “I’m never going to have time to read this.”

“I teased him because there were very few things where you’ll find unanimity about, and one of those things is that reading books is a good way to learn. There is no dissent on that point,” Mr. Graham claimed. “Mark eventually came to agree with me on that, and like everything he did, he picked it up very quickly and became a tremendous reader.”

In the lead-up to his talks with Ms. Sandberg, Mr. Zuckerberg experienced a brush with debate that stired problems concerning possible policies. Government authorities were starting to wonder about if cost-free systems like Facebook were hurting customers with the information they gathered. In December 2007, the Federal Trade Commission provided self-regulatory concepts for behavior marketing to shield information personal privacy. Mr. Zuckerberg required assistance browsing Washington.

“Mark understood that some of the biggest challenges Facebook was going to face in the future were going to revolve around issues of privacy and regulatory concerns,” Mr. Rose claimed. Ms. Sandberg, he kept in mind, “obviously had deep experience there, and this was very important to Mark.”

To Ms. Sandberg, the relocate to Facebook, a firm led by an unpleasant 23-year-old university failure, wasn’t as counterproductive as it could have shown up. She was a vice head of state at Google, however she had actually struck a ceiling: There were numerous vice head of states at her degree, as well as they were all contending for promos. Eric Schmidt, after that the president, wasn’t trying to find a No. 2. Men that weren’t executing along with she was were obtaining identified as well as getting greater titles, previous Google coworkers preserved.

“Despite leading a bigger, more profitable, faster-growing business than the men who were her peers, she was not given the title president, but they were,” remembered Kim Scott, a leader in the advertisement sales department. Ms. Sandberg was trying to find something brand-new. She claimed yes to Facebook.

Mr. Zuckerberg generated Ms. Sandberg to handle expanding worry concerning the firm in Washington. She professionalized the mangy workplace there, which had actually been opened up by a current university grad whose main work was to assist legislators established their Facebook accounts. She stood for Facebook as a participant of President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs as well as Competitiveness, together with various other execs as well as organized labor leaders. After one conference of the council, she went along with Mr. Obama on Air Force One to Facebook’s head office, where the head of state held a public city center to talk about the economic climate. But quickly, there were fractures in the exterior.

In October 2010, she met the F.T.C. chairman, Jonathan Leibowitz, to attempt to subdue a personal privacy examination. In his workplace, a loosened up as well as positive Ms. Sandberg started the conference with a case that Facebook had actually provided customers extra control over their information than any type of various other web firm which the firm’s most significant remorse was not connecting plainly exactly how its personal privacy plan functioned.

The F.T.C. authorities quickly tested her, according to individuals that participated in the conference. Mr. Leibowitz kept in mind that, on an individual degree, he had actually enjoyed his middle-school-age child have problem with the personal privacy setups on Facebook, which had actually immediately made it simpler for unfamiliar people to discover customers like her. “I’m seeing it at home,” he claimed.

“That’s so great,” Ms. Sandberg reacted. She took place to define the social media network as “empowering” for young customers. Mr. Leibowitz hadn’t indicated it as excellent information — as well as highlighted to her that the F.T.C. was deeply worried concerning personal privacy.

Ms. Lever, the Facebook spokesperson, defined the conference as “substantive,” with a comprehensive description of the firm’s personal privacy plans. She included that the characterization of stress in the space “misrepresents what actually happened.”

But to individuals that existed, Ms. Sandberg appeared to be listening to just what she wished to listen to.


Credit…Taylor Callery

The execs made their method with the entrance hall of Trump Tower, previous press reporters screaming concerns they disregarded, right into the gold lifts as well as approximately meet the president-choose.

“Everybody in this room has to like me,” President-elect Trump claimed to the team he had actually collected there in December 2016. It consisted of Ms. Sandberg as well as the presidents of Apple, Amazon, Google as well as Microsoft.

But Ms. Sandberg had actually made her choices extremely clear: She did not like him. In reality, she was still in shock as well as grieving for Hillary Clinton’s loss. She was a reputable as well as noticeable Democratic bundler. She had actually acted as principal of team to Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers throughout the Clinton management as well as her name had actually been drifted for Treasury assistant in a possible Hillary Clinton management. Now she was waylaid from her course back right into national politics, after 8 years of dizzying success as a feminist symbol as well as magnate.

Moreover, her Democratic links were of minimal usage in the freshly chosen management. She gotten in touch with Joel Kaplan, the firm’s top Republican as well as vice head of state of worldwide plan, whom she worked with in May 2011. (Mr. Kaplan, that went along with Ms. Sandberg to Trump Tower, remained eventually longer to talk to with the Trump change group for the setting of supervisor of the Office of Management as well as Budget. Facebook claimed he withdrew his candidateship prior to the conference, however took the meeting anyhow.)

Mr. Kaplan, a previous replacement principal of team for President George W. Bush, had actually alerted Ms. Sandberg as well as Mr. Zuckerberg that they needed to fix relationships with Republicans that disliked their assistance for Democrats. Ms. Sandberg participated in the Trump Tower conference, seated 2 chairs to the right of the president-elect as well as in between Vice President Mike Pence as well as Larry Page, among Google’s creators, however hardly talked. The president-elect, that had actually competed with a lot of the business whose leaders he currently dealt with, as well as that would certainly take place to make complex Facebook’s plans on speech in means firm leaders did not yet comprehend, seemed in excellent spirits that day.

“You’ll call my people, you’ll call me. It doesn’t make any difference,” Mr. Trump claimed. “We have no formal chain of command over here.”

Facebook did call him. But it was Mr. Zuckerberg that came to be the emissary to Washington.

In the months as well as years after the 2016 political election, Facebook challenged a variety of obstacles linked to the Trump presidency. The firm examined as well as managed after effects from the extent of Russian disturbance with the political election on its system.

Ms. Lever, the Facebook spokesperson, kept in mind that it was all-natural for Mr. Zuckerberg to handle a bigger duty in managing speech as well as false information. Other technology leaders were additionally progressively involved on those concerns. “These areas demanded more time, attention and focus, which both Mark and Sheryl have given them,” she claimed.

At the very same time, Mr. Zuckerberg as well as Ms. Sandberg remained to wander more apart. He was crucial of her handling of public relationships associated with political election disturbance as well as an additional detraction in March 2018, when it was exposed that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting company benefiting Mr. Trump, had actually made use of information collected from Facebook customers to target citizens. Both were violations that practically originated from his side of business — items — however she supervised of managing the general public’s temper over the episodes. One of her main functions had actually been to appeal Washington on Facebook’s part, as well as shield as well as burnish its photo. Neither task was going especially well.

On the mid-day of Sept. 19, 2019, Mr. Zuckerberg got on the Oval Office for a conference unrecorded in public timetables for the head of state.

Mr. Trump leaned onward, relaxing his arm joints on the ornately sculpted 19th-century Resolute workdesk. As he flaunted concerning the efficiency of the economic climate under his management, a big glass of Diet Coke gathered condensation on a rollercoaster before him. Mr. Zuckerberg rested on the opposite of the workdesk, in a straight-back wood chair wedged in between Mr. Kaplan as well as Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law as well as elderly consultant. Dan Scavino, the head of state’s supervisor of social networks, rested at the end of the row.

Mr. Zuckerberg had actually featured a present.

He informed Mr. Trump that a group had actually run the numbers making use of exclusive inner information, as well as the head of state had the highest possible interaction of any type of political leader on Facebook, according to individuals aware of the conversation. Mr. Trump’s individual account, with 28 million fans during that time, was a blowout success. The previous truth program celebrity was noticeably happy.

Later in the day, Mr. Trump divulged the conference on Facebook as well as Twitter, uploading a picture of both guys drinking hands, a vast smile on the C.E.O.’s face. “Nice meeting with Mark Zuckerberg of @Facebook in the Oval Office today,” checked out the subtitle.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s intro to Mr. Trump’s White House had actually come with Mr. Kaplan as well as Peter Thiel, a very early capitalist in Facebook as well as the technology market’s most singing fan of the head of state. Mr. Zuckerberg had actually very first learnt more about Mr. Kushner, that finished from Harvard the year Mr. Zuckerberg started.

Before his Oval Office conference, Mr. Zuckerberg arranged a consultation with Mr. Kushner, that had actually led electronic media technique for the Trump project. He wished to provide a praise concerning the project, as well as informed Mr. Kushner: “You were very good on Facebook.”


Credit…Taylor Callery

Ms. Sandberg welcomed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a smile. The audio speaker reacted coolly, however she did welcome Ms. Sandberg to join her on the sofas in the visitor seating location.

It was May 8, 2019, as well as the consultation with the audio speaker covered 2 days of tough conferences with legislators concerning initiatives to avoid disinformation throughout the 2020 political elections.

It was an attempting duration for Ms. Sandberg. Her job obligations were squashing: Friends claimed she was really feeling remarkable stress, as well as some regret, for the waterfall of rumors facing the firm.

The strained state of mind in the audio speaker’s workplace remained in raw comparison to the one throughout a see Ms. Sandberg made to Ms. Pelosi in July 2015. They took a picture with each other, with both females grinning, as well as later on Ms. Pelosi published it to Facebook, loading appreciation on Ms. Sandberg’s advocacy for females in the labor force.

Now, 4 years later on, Ms. Sandberg looked for to reclaim several of that support as she defined initiatives to remove phony international accounts, the hiring of hundreds of web content mediators as well as making use of expert system as well as various other innovations to promptly track as well as remove disinformation. She ensured Ms. Pelosi that Facebook would certainly not deal with policies. She indicated Mr. Zuckerberg’s point of view essay in The Washington Post in April, which asked for personal privacy guidelines, legislations needing economic disclosures in on-line political election advertisements, as well as guidelines that allowed Facebook customers to take their information off the social media network as well as utilize it on competing websites.

The 2 spoke for almost a hr. Ms. Sandberg confessed that Facebook had troubles, as well as the firm seemed at the very least attempting to repair them. Ms. Pelosi was still on guard, however the initiatives seemed a progression.

Finally. They appear to be obtaining it, Ms. Pelosi claimed.

Two weeks later on, a video clip including the audio speaker was commonly shared on Facebook. Someone had actually controlled the video clip, making it appear as if Ms. Pelosi was slurring her words.

On a Facebook web page called Politics Watchdog, the video clip brought in 2 million sights as well as was shared 10s of hundreds of times. From there, it was shared to numerous personal Facebook teams, a lot of them very partial web pages. Within 1 day, Mr. Trump’s individual attorney as well as a previous mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, had actually tweeted the web link, together with the message, “What’s wrong with Nancy Pelosi? Her speech pattern is bizarre.”

The personal Facebook teams Mr. Zuckerberg had actually promoted 2 months previously as component of a pivot to personal privacy were the ones currently spreading out the video clip. Within the boundaries of the tiny teams, Facebook customers not just joked with each other concerning exactly how to modify the video clip however additionally shared ideas on exactly how to guarantee that it would certainly get to the optimum variety of individuals. YouTube promptly removed the video clip, however Facebook was where it was obtaining substantial grip.

The audio speaker’s team was livid. Her workplace had especially solid connections to Facebook. Catlin O’Neill, Ms. Pelosi’s previous principal of team, was just one of Facebook’s most elderly Democratic powerbrokers.

Inside Facebook, execs were disregarding the Pelosi team’s telephone calls due to the fact that they were attempting to develop a feedback. The reality checkers as well as the A.I. hadn’t flagged the video clip for incorrect web content or stopped its spread. It was very easy to trick Facebook’s filters as well as discovery devices with straightforward workarounds, it ended up.

But the doctored video clip of Ms. Pelosi exposed greater than the failings of Facebook’s innovation to quit the spread of deceptive viral video clips. It revealed the inner complication as well as argument over the concern of very partial political web content.

Executives, powerbrokers, as well as interactions team invested the following day in a slow-motion discussion. Ms. Sandberg claimed she assumed there was an excellent debate to take the video clip down under guidelines versus disinformation, however she left it at that. Mr. Kaplan as well as participants of the plan group claimed it was essential to show up neutral to national politics as well as to be constant with the firm’s assurance of cost-free speech.

Ms. Sandberg would certainly have been the elderly lady in those conversations, as she remained in any type of conversation at the firm, as well as possibly among couple of females associated with the choice making in any way. After their 2015 see, Ms. Pelosi had actually shared adoration for Ms. Sandberg’s deal with part of females, as well as both recognized well the added examination as well as assaults that women leaders can deal with. That the video clip existed in any way as well as had actually spread out so commonly, usually with gendered discourse, was additionally a testimony to that.

The discussions came to be hurt workouts in “what-if” debates. Mr. Zuckerberg as well as various other participants of the plan group considered if the video clip can be specified as apology. If so, maybe a crucial payment to political discussion. Some interactions workers kept in mind that the very same type of satire of Ms. Pelosi can have shown up on the tv program “Saturday Night Live.” Others on the protection group pressed back as well as claimed visitors plainly recognized that “S.N.L.” was a funny program which the video clip of Ms. Pelosi was not watermarked as an apology.

Employees associated with the conversations were disappointed, however they highlighted that a plan for simply one video clip would certainly additionally influence billions of others, so the choice can not be hurried.

“It’s easy to criticize the process, but there isn’t a playbook for making policy decisions that make everyone happy, particularly when attempting to apply standards consistently,” Ms. Lever, the spokesperson, claimed today.

On Friday, two days after the video clip appeared, Mr. Zuckerberg made the last phone call. He claimed to maintain it up.

Ms. Sandberg did not attempt to describe, or warrant, the choice to Ms. Pelosi’s team.

Later that year, Mr. Zuckerberg had an opportunity to openly clarify on the assuming behind that choice as well as others like it. On Oct. 17, he showed up at Georgetown University’s school in Washington to provide his very first significant public address on Facebook’s obligation as a system for speech.


Credit…Nick Wass/Associated Press

He defined Facebook as component of a brand-new pressure that he called “the fifth estate,” which gave an unfiltered as well as unedited voice to its 2.7 billion customers. He alerted versus closing down dissenting sights. The cacophony of voices would certainly, certainly, be discomfiting, however discussion was vital to a healthy and balanced freedom. The public would certainly serve as the reality checkers of a political leader’s lies. It wasn’t the duty of a service to make such substantial administration choices, he claimed.

Ms. Lever included just recently that the firm did not wish to act unilaterally to make these selections as well as would certainly invite policies from lawmakers.

Immediately after the Georgetown address, civil liberties leaders, academics, reporters as well as customer teams panned the speech, claiming political lies had the possible to provoke physical violence.

An assistant to Ms. Sandberg discharged off a collection of upset e-mails concerning the Georgetown speech to her. She composed back that he ought to onward the e-mails to Nick Clegg, a previous British deputy head of state that had actually come to be Facebook’s vice head of state of worldwide events as well as interactions, as well as others that could affect Mr. Zuckerberg’s reasoning. Her inactiveness exasperated coworkers as well as several of her lieutenants — his choices, besides, remained in straight opposition to the core worths she advertised in public. There was little she can do to alter Mr. Zuckerberg’s mind, Ms. Sandberg trusted to those near to her.

Just a couple of days after Mr. Zuckerberg informed the controlled Georgetown group that Facebook would certainly not cut political speech, Ms. Sandberg showed up at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles, as well as rested for a meeting with Katie Couric. The 2 females had actually as soon as adhered over their common experience of being widowed young; Ms. Couric had actually shed her hubby to colon cancer cells at age 42. Ms. Sandberg’s hubby, Dave Goldberg, passed away in May 2015, as well as Ms. Couric had actually sustained Ms. Sandberg’s 2017 publication concerning managing that loss, “Option B,” with meetings at public occasions.

But throughout their almost hourlong discussion, Ms. Couric smoked Ms. Sandberg concerning harassing on Instagram as well as Facebook. She pressed her to protect Facebook versus phone call to separate the firm as well as asked skeptically if the guaranteed personal privacy reforms would certainly work.

Several times, Ms. Sandberg acknowledged that the concerns were tough which Facebook really felt accountable, however she cut short of claiming that the firm would certainly take the kind of definitive activity required by constitutional rights teams as well as academics.

Toward completion of the discussion, Ms. Couric postured the concern that couple of were vibrant sufficient to ask Ms. Sandberg straight: “Since you are so associated with Facebook, how worried are you about your personal legacy as a result of your association with this company?” Ms. Sandberg didn’t avoid a beat as she went back to the message she had actually provided from her very first days at Facebook.

“I really believe in what I said about people having voice. There are a lot of problems to fix. They are real, and I have a real responsibility to do it. I feel honored to do it,” she claimed, with a constant voice as well as tranquil smile. She later on informed assistants that within, she was shedding with embarrassment.


Credit…Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Ms. Sandberg as well as Mr. Zuckerberg still fulfill at the beginning as well as end of weekly, signifying to the firm, as well as to the outdoors, that they continue to be in lock action. Friends as well as Facebook execs talk with their individual nearness.

When they initially fulfilled, Mr. Zuckerberg understood that Ms. Sandberg can stand out at the components of the C.E.O. work that he located boring. In the 13 years they’ve been interacting, Mr. Zuckerberg currently comprehends that he cannot contract out several of those obligations.

At the very least not to an additional individual. He is worried concerning the firm’s setting worldwide, however he normally is much less persuaded by Ms. Sandberg’s sight, or any person else’s.

Instead, he counts on 2 inner metrics, understood inside as GFW, Good-for-the-World, as well as CAU, Cares-about-users. Facebook frequently surveys its very own customers on whether they saw Facebook as one or both of those points.

Both the numbers plunged, as well as stayed reduced, after the discoveries concerning Russian political election disturbance as well as information harvesting by Cambridge Analytica. For years, they fell short to climb, regardless of the number of assurances Facebook made to do much better as well as the number of brand-new protection programs the firm began. Mr. Zuckerberg, that obtained the numbers weekly, informed assistants that at some point the trend would certainly transform as well as individuals would certainly begin to see Facebook in a different way.

Privately, execs informed each various other there were various other numbers that mattered extra.

On Jan. 27, 2021, simply weeks after the troubles in Washington, Mr. Zuckerberg as well as Ms. Sandberg signed up with a revenues phone call with financial investment experts.

In yet an additional about-face choice on speech, Mr. Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook was intending to minimize political web content in the News Feed because, he claimed, “people don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our service.”

He was still making contact the most significant plan choices. The news was additionally an indirect recommendation of Facebook’s yearslong failing to manage harmful unsupported claims running roughshod on the social media network, especially throughout the political election. “We’re going to continue to focus on helping millions of more people participate in healthy communities,” he included.

Then Ms. Sandberg moved the emphasis to revenues. “This was a strong quarter for our business,” she claimed. Revenue for the 4th quarter was up 33 percent, to $28 billion, “the fastest growth rate in over two years.”

Sheera Frenkel as well as Cecilia Kang cover innovation for The New York Times. They are the writers of the upcoming publication “An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination,” where this write-up is adjusted.