How Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg fell out over Trump

How Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg fell out over Trump
How Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg fell out over Trump

Mark Zuckerberg and his deputy Sheryl Sandberg have 'drifted apart' following disagreements about his handling of Trump, according to a new book - with the staunch Democrat left 'burning with humiliation' at having to defend some of Facebook's policies.

Sandberg, 51, is said to have taken exception to Zuckerberg's wooing of the former president, which included showing him internal data revealing he had the most Facebook engagements of any politician and refusing to take down a fake video of Nancy Pelosi slurring her words.

The 37-year-old CEO was determined to prove Facebook was not biased against conservatives, leaving his staunch Democrat deputy increasingly isolated, while Zuckerberg has also become 'critical of her handling of public relations', the new book claims.

Sandberg, 51, is said to have taken exception to Zuckerberg's wooing of the former president. The pair are pictured at a tech summit Thursday in Sun Valley, Idaho

Sandberg, 51, is said to have taken exception to Zuckerberg's wooing of the former president. The pair are pictured at a tech summit Thursday in Sun Valley, Idaho 

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Cecilia Kang and Sheera Frankel, authors An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination, spoke to dozens of former and current Facebook staff who said that the appearance of Zuckerberg and Sandberg still being close is misleading.

Although the pair still meet together twice a week, Zuckerberg is 'less swayed by Ms. Sandberg's view' than he was when he first hired her to do the bits of his job he found 'boring' 13 years ago, the authors say in an extract obtained by the New York Times.

Facebook spokesman Dani Lever strongly rejected the allegations, saying that judging from the extracts the company had seen so far, the authors tell 'a false narrative based on selective interviews, many from disgruntled individuals, and cherry-picked facts.'

'The fault lines that the authors depict between Mark and Sheryl and the people who work with them do not exist,' she said. 'All of Mark's direct reports work closely with Sheryl and hers with Mark. Sheryl's role at the company has not changed.

'The excerpts are typical of attacks on women leaders - denying their power, dismissing their competence, and marginalizing their roles and relationships.'

Zuckerberg first hired Sandberg to deal with political matters due to her long experience in Washington DC, but as soon as Trump, who she 'didn't like', became president, he increasingly disagreed with her and made key politics-related decisions himself, it is alleged. 

Trump seen Wednesday announcing a lawsuit against social media platforms including Facebook

Trump seen Wednesday announcing a lawsuit against social media platforms including Facebook 

Sandberg, Facebook's Chief Operating Officer, was said to be 'mourning' Hilary Clinton's defeat, and lacked contacts in the new Republican administration due to her Democrat leanings. She is an active fundraiser for the party.

Meanwhile, Zuckerberg went out of his way to cultivate Trump, with the pair at one point enjoying a cosy meeting in the White House in September 2019 where he showed him internal data showing that the Republican had the highest engagement of any politician on Facebook.

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