Where are Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg during the Facebook hearing?
Hours before “60 Minutes” aired an interview on Sunday with a whistleblower who upset Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, posted a video online.
The 38-second clip featured him with his wife, Dr Priscilla Chan, browsing. The images, which were taken with new Facebook glasses capable of recording video, made no reference to the week-long scandal that engulfed the company after the whistleblower leaked documents showing the network social had studied and understood the harmful effects of its products.
Since the Wall Street Journal began publishing articles based on the leaked information last month, Mr. Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, have not said anything publicly about the revelations. Instead, Facebook’s responses featured Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs, and Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, among others.
This has led lawmakers and others to wonder: where are the two main executives of Facebook?
Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg are deliberately avoiding public comment on the leaked documents, people with knowledge of the matter have previously told The New York Times. That way, executives can avoid the negative press and appear to be above the fray, they said.
For months, Facebook has had an internal plan to separate Mr. Zuckerberg from corporate crises. Instead, its communications and public posts have focused on product announcements and plans for the “metaverse,” where people maintain a certain sense of continuity across all the different digital worlds they live in.
Ms. Sandberg also focused on other topics in her public communications. She recently added an article about small businesses in the UAE on her Facebook page.
Mr. Zuckerberg has only recently deviated from this strategy.
On Monday, he published an article about a worldwide outage of the social network and its applications, which lasted more than five hours. “Sorry for the disruption today, I know how much you rely on our services to keep in touch with the people who are dear to you,” he wrote.