Tuesday, June 8, 2010

VERITAS: FUMBLE - ZUCKERBERG BREAKS INTO A SWEAT

This week's perspective from Com.motion:

Therese Poletti of MarketWatch may have said it best: "Facebook CEO has a Richard Nixon moment." This week, at the famed All Things D Conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was part of a feature interview with hosts Kira Swisher and Walt Mossberg. Predictably, he was asked about the recent storm of concern around Facebook's privacy issues and widely reported comments made by Zuckerberg in the past that seemingly dismissed users of Facebook and any regard for their privacy. This is an event that both Facebook and Zuckerberg should have been ready for. We've covered Facebook's issues in TD&F frequently of late, and it should be clear that when United States Senators, consumer groups and global government agencies are questioning your approach to users of your site, there will be at least a few pointed questions aimed to unearth the key issues behind them. Instead, Zuckerberg came across as evasive and somewhat disconnected. The response has been very critical, with some suggesting Facebook should consider other spokespeople and Shel Israel going so far as to suggest he step down. Although the technical solutions to Facebook's issues are complex, their communications issues are very clear. Facebook, led by Mark Zuckerberg, needs to find its stride, confidently and transparently outlining how it will manage the firestorm and be prepared to continually face questions as the platform evolves.

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