The second in command of Facebook, COO Ms. Sheryl Sandberg asked one of her communication staffs to research billionaire George Soros’s financial interests in the wake of his high-profile attacks on tech giants, according to the people with knowledge of her request. The information confirms that Facebook’s COO was directly involved in the social network’s response to the liberal billionaire.
Ms. Sandberg asked for the information in an email to a senior executive in January which was later forwarded to the other senior communications and policy staff as per the source. The email came to light within days of a blasting speech delivered by George Soros later that month at the World Economic Forum, straightforward attacking Facebook and Google as a menace to society and calling for the companies to be regulated properly.
Ms. Sandberg – who was present at the forum, but not when Mr. Soros’s speech was delivered, according to attendees – requested a research into why Mr. Soros has criticized the tech giants and whether stood to gain financially from the attacks. At the same time, Facebook was under strict scrutiny for its unintended play in disseminating Russian propaganda and fuming campaigns of hatred in Myanmar and other countries. In a statement, Facebook said the research into Mr. Soros began before his World Economic Forum speech.
Facebook also mentioned that “Mr. Soros is a globally prominent investor and we looked into his trading activity and investments related to Facebook. That research was already underway when Ms. Sheryl sent an email asking if Mr. Soros had shorted any of Facebook’s stock.” This revelation is likely to escalate pressure on Ms. Sandberg, who is a prominent silicon valley star.
Source: New York Times