Mark Zuckerberg’s personal control over the operation of Facebook and its affiliated tech platforms is growing, according to an in-depth report in the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal reports that Zuckerberg is “pushing aside dissenters” as he reasserts control over the company he founded, and is taking new power over Facebook-owned services like Instagram and WhatsApp, despite earlier promises to leave the acquired platforms relatively independent.
Facebook announced the departure of two directors, and added a longtime friend of Mr. Zuckerberg’s to the board. The moves were the culmination of the chief executive’s campaign over the past two years to consolidate decision-making at the company he co-founded 16 years ago. The 35-year-old tycoon also jumped into action steering Facebook into a high-profile campaign in the coronavirus response, while putting himself in the spotlight interviewing prominent health officials and politicians.
The result is a Facebook CEO and chairman more actively and visibly in charge than he has been in years.
Mr. Zuckerberg in 2018 took on the role of a wartime leader who needed to act quickly and, sometimes, unilaterally. He announced a series of products that took Facebook in new directions, starting with the March 2019 announcement that the company would emphasize private, encrypted messaging instead of the public posts that made it famous.
As Breitbart News covered in a column last week, Zuckerberg’s tightening control over the social media giant coincides with a series of unprecedented acts of censorship, including the censoring of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro. The Facebook CEO has also described anti-lockdown protests as “misinformation,” as his company proactively reached out to state governments to collude in the suppression of the protests’ organization on the platform.
As Zuckerberg’s control over Facebook grows, so too does Facebook’s control over the global flow of information — aided by the ongoing panic over coronavirus “misinformation.”
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.