But for Mark Zuckerburg and the rest of Facebook’s top brass, the moment of reckoning was approaching. For them, next Monday, October 25th, will be their own Dark Monday. Because the bullets they have thus far dodged will return as in a hail, with news organisations across North America coordinating the media hit to end all media hits.
What did Zuck know, and when?
That what is to come is serious can be in no doubt: the softening-up process began yesterday and is already in full swing. Charles Johnson noted last night “The latest allegation is that Facebook specifically EXEMPTED hate sites like Breitbart ‘News’ from policy enforcement”. That was revealed by the Washington Post.
Just how sorry will he be this time?
“The whistleblower told the Post of an occasion in which Facebook’s public policy team, led by former Bush administration official Joel Kaplan, defended a ‘white list’ that exempted Trump-aligned Breitbart News, run then by former White House strategist Stephen K Bannon, and other select publishers from Facebook’s ordinary rules against spreading false news reports”. The New York Times is also on Facebook’s case.
“Internal Facebook documents show that employees repeatedly warned of misinformation about the 2020 election. Executives have placed blame elsewhere … 10% - The share of all US views of political material on Facebook six days after the 2020 election that were posts alleging the vote was fraudulent”. Back to the WaPo and it gets worse.
“Facebook documents show how the platform fueled rage ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol … Facebook has never publicly disclosed what it knows about how its platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp, helped fuel that day’s mayhem”.
CNN will be on the case tonight, as long-serving host Anderson Cooper has told the channel’s viewers. "Leaked Facebook documents shed new light on how the Stop the Steal movement flourished on the platform in the weeks leading up to the Capitol attack … Facebook papers paint damning picture of company’s role in insurrection”.
And then came news of next Monday from Mark di Stefano at The Information: “On Monday, more than a dozen news organisations including AP, CNN, USA Today and Fox (!) are planning to drop stories on Facebook’s head. They’ve been coordinating on the whistleblower’s documents through a private Slack group”. Yes, even Fox.
The BBC may be somewhere in the background, too, as reporter Marianna Spring noted “More stories emerging alleging Facebook puts profit over protecting users”. Meanwhile, Brian Stelter of CNN had an ominous coda: “The analysis found that the policies and procedures Facebook had in place were simply not up to the task of slowing, much less halting, the 'meteoric' growth of Stop the Steal”. So who knew what, and when?
Next Monday may not be High Noon for Facebook. But you can see it from there.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at