Facebook CEO Defends Company in ABC Interview, Advocates Democracy

Despite his aloofness, it might be time to become a fan of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

”World News” devoted three segments to the social networking company on July 21, the day it reached 500 million users. Reporter Bill Weir and anchor Diane Sawyer profiled Facebook and interviewed its CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg responded to Sawyer’s questions about Facebook including whether or not Facebook is a “colossus that will mark the end of privacy” with a response that seemed allegorical to today’s Tea Party and conservative movement.

“It’s just the conversation. You don’t—you’re not designing the end result?” Sawyer asked.

“No, I mean, people make that up for themselves,” Zuckerberg said. “Right, I mean that’s, that’s the power of democracy in these systems is that when you give everyone a voice and give people power, the system usually ends up in a really good place, so what we view our role as is giving people that power.”

Granted, the camera-shy Zuckerberg may not have intended to make such a defining statement on conservative philosophy, but his response stood out on a day when President Obama signed a massive financial reform bill that expanding the government’s power.

Zuckerberg’s response also stood out in a report that was hard on his social networking juggernaut. Weir specifically highlighted Facebook’s privacy issues, a University of Michigan claiming Facebook is in the bottom five of a customer satisfaction poll, and was skeptical and condescending about the company’s growth.

”Do you think Mark Zuckerberg fully understands what he’s created?” Weir asked technology forecaster Paul Saffo.

Saffo’s belittling reply was that ”Mark Zuckerberg is like every other CEO in his twenties. He’s hanging on for dear life as his company shoots off into the stratosphere.”

While Facebook’s has struggled to keep its users happy about privacy settings the company has been tremendously successful. Facebook is now a 500 million-plus member democracy and that democracy is in the hands of the users.

Yet, ABC and other media outlets including The New York Times and NBC have been critical of the social network and portrayed Zuckerberg as a corporate tyrant. Back on May 26, as Facebook made privacy changes to allow users to have more control, the company was abused by news reports.

Like this article? Then sign up for our newsletter, The Balance Sheet.