Why Mark Zuckerberg’s Statement On Facebook’s Data Breach Is A #Fail

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally broke his silence yesterday via a statement posted to his Facebook page, and by doing an interview with CNN. Now I’ll let you look at the statement and see his interview on CNN for yourself. But here’s why I think this response is a #fail:

  1. It’s late: This story broke almost 6 days ago and the leader of a company that has two billion people using his product was nowhere to be seen or heard from. That lead to #WheresZuck trending on Twitter (ironically). If people are to trust the leader of a company in a crisis, that leader needs to be seen and heard from in real time and not days later. Otherwise their credibility as a leader takes a serious hit. No to mention the credibility of the company. Not to mention that the delayed statement from Zuckerberg is now a story that’s almost as big as the data breach.
  2. The statement can be seen as disingenuous: If you read it, the statement sounds like it was written by his lawyer and not by Zuckerberg. It sets out some specifics about how the breach occurred and offers some vague solutions for preventing it from happening again. The bottom line is that it reads as if it is meant to cover Zuckerberg’s posterior rather than to own up to the mistakes that his company made.
  3. The apology was slow in coming: Zuckerberg never apologizes in the statement that he posted to Facebook. The closest he comes to that is to say “I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I’m responsible for what happens on our platform.” Though to be fair, he does say that he’s “really sorry” later on CNN. But you’d think that he’d be using the words “I’m sorry” on every platform that he has access to starting with his own as that would make people believe that he is truly remorseful about what has happened.
  4. It brings up the ghosts of crises past: One of the things that the statement that he posted on Facebook made me think of was that Zuckerberg himself once said people who willingly hand over their personal data “dumb f—-.” And that many of the same excuses that he used at that time are in play here. Which implies that he hasn’t learned anything from the past. Which means that we have question if he is serious about fixing this going forward.

The bottom line is that Zuckerberg and company come out of this sounding like they are more sorry about the $50 billion in market cap that Facebook stock has lost, and all the unwanted attention that they’re now getting from various governments and regulatory agencies rather than the data breach and how their users feel about that. By the time this is over, this will go down as the textbook case study as how not to handle a crisis. And if Zuckerberg is particularly unlucky, his #fail of a response to this crisis may result in the moment that Facebook jumps the shark because their users feel that they have no choice but to quit Facebook.

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One Response to “Why Mark Zuckerberg’s Statement On Facebook’s Data Breach Is A #Fail”

  1. […] this crisis head with everyone and anyone as opposed to hiding for days before coming out with a lame statement and a barely passable TV interview. Not to mention that he rebuffed an invite from the UK to explain this gong show while accepting an […]

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