Another day another Facebook issue
November 29, 2018

After billionaire activist George Soros criticized Facebook during a speech in January, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg asked communications staffers to investigate why he lambasted the company and if doing so benefited him financially, three people with knowledge of the matter told The New York Times.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Soros said Facebook and Google are each a "menace" to society and need to be regulated. At the time, Facebook was under scrutiny for its role in spreading Russian propaganda during the 2016 election. Not long after Sandberg made her request, Facebook hired Definers, a Republican-linked opposition research firm that distributed to reporters information on Soros funding advocacy groups critical of Facebook. The Times reported about this research in early November, and Facebook was accused of helping push anti-Semitic attacks against Soros; the company then fired Definers.

In a statement, Facebook said it was already researching Soros when Sandberg sent her email asking if Soros had shorted Facebook's stock. After the Times first reported about Definers, Sandberg denied knowing that Facebook had hired the company, but last week she said in a post that she did come across some of their research. Catherine Garcia

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