Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg leaves a meeting with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) in his office on Capitol Hill on September 19, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Samuel Corum | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the surprising call to live-stream an employee Q&A session to the public on Thursday after recordings from a similar meeting in July were leaked and published earlier this week.
Zuckerberg addressed a range of topics and even waded into political views expressed by presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. He was also asked which types of fake news Facebook tries to prevent and how the San Francisco Bay Area’s housing crisis is impacting the company.
Asked to respond to Sen. Sanders’s comment that billionaires should not exist, Zuckerberg offered an unexpected viewpoint, considering his Facebook ownership makes him worth over $69 billion.
“I understand where he’s coming from,” Zuckerberg said. “I don’t know that I have an exact threshold on what amount of money someone should have but on some level no one deserves to have that much money.”
Sen. Warren has taken more of a direct attack on Facebook, claiming that the company should be broken up. The Verge on Tuesday published audio and transcripts from a Q&A session in which Zuckerberg blasted Warren’s plan and said he’d “go to the mat” and fight it.
Zuckerberg said on Thursday that he stands by all the content in the leaked recording, but he added, “let’s try not to antagonize her further.”
In announcing the public session, Zuckerberg wrote in a post that he thought “it would be good to show everyone what these Q&As are like.” He said that he thinks an intern leaked the contents of the prior Q&A because it was a session for interns.
He compared himself to a robot that needs recharging and joked during the live stream, “At this point, I do such a bad job at interviews that what do we have to lose?”
Zuckerberg took some questions addressing the business.
He said that more than 80% of the people using the company’s new dating service come back each week, but he declined to share a precise number of users.
Asked how Facebook prioritizes which category of false information to tackle, Zuckerberg said that the objective is to stamp out “complete and obvious hoaxes.”
“When we talk about misinformation, a lot of people focus on a statement that isn’t clear if it’s a shade of true or partially false,” he said. “There’s a lot of stuff that people say that is completely false. That’s the thing that I’m really focused on and making sure that we [stop].”
With a massive headquarters in Menlo Park, California, Facebook is now primarily growing its workforce outside of the Bay Area, Zuckerberg said.
“The housing prices are way up, the traffic is bad,” he said. “There’s a lot that we are trying to do to help build more housing and alleviate traffic constraints, but for the near term it’s going to be building up those other hubs.”
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