With news on Friday that Cambridge Analytica was able to harvest the data of millions of Facebook users, the world’s largest social network is now more than three days into one of the biggest privacy scandals in its history (which is saying a lot). Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg personally lost $6 billion yesterday as Facebook’s cratering stock price led a massive sell-off of tech-sector shares on Wall Street, and members of Congress have written a letter to Zuckerberg demanding answers.
But unlike with past scandals, where Zuckerberg would respond with sweeping manifestos about Facebook’s mission to connect the world, the CEO has yet to publicly address the Cambridge Analytica brouhaha. Instead, that responsibility seems to have fallen to Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president of AR/VR, who has been actively jousting with critics on Twitter, intent on driving home the point that Facebook did not–technically–suffer a “data breach.” Yesterday, Boz doubled down on damage control, posting on his personal Facebook page an expanded timeline of events related to the scandal.
Meanwhile, the question of Zuckerberg’s silence is practically becoming its own meme, with the hashtag #WheresZuck making the rounds on Twitter throughout much of the day yesterday. Clearly, we’re not the only ones asking.
Facebook is expected to hold an all-hands meeting this morning, though it’s not clear if Zuckerberg will speak there. I would not be surprised if he weighed in before the day is through, but who knows?
Either way, the protracted silence is not a good look. Lest we forget, Zuckerberg was heavily criticized last year for sending a lawyer to appear at Senate hearings about Russian election hacking, rather than appearing himself. His hesitance to take the lead on this issue plays right into the hands of critics who have for so long accused Facebook of not taking privacy and security seriously.