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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

After a brutal week for Facebook that saw executive departures, a massive outage and the disclosure of a criminal investigation, the weekend offered the company little respite.

The state of play: There were new revelations in the long-running Cambridge Analytica saga, as well as fresh concerns in the wake of the New Zealand shooting over the company's role in fomenting and amplifying extremism.

Why it matters: 10 days ago, CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a massive reorientation of Facebook's priorities in the direction of private encrypted messaging. But rather than change the narrative, the time since that announcement has been filled with a familiar drumbeat of bad news.

The latest:

  • The Guardian reports that Facebook board member Marc Andreessen met with Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie back in the summer of 2016, raising further questions of who knew what and when at Facebook. Andreessen denies any such meeting.
  • Meanwhile, another figure in the scandal, researcher Aleksandr Kogan, sued Facebook for defamation. Kogan maintains he's being made a scapegoat for Facebook's own missteps.
  • Facebook came under intense scrutiny for the role it and other social networks played in spreading video of the Christchurch mosque shooting Friday.
  • The company's announcement that it pre-emptively blocked 1.2 million out of 1.5 million attempts to upload the video highlighted the magnitude of the challenge it faces. But it did little to quell concern that the company seems unable to stop its platform from being used to spread extremist violence.

ICYMI: All this follows what had already been an especially rough week, even for a company that has grown accustomed to negative stories. Last week saw...

The bottom line: Facebook has been through a lot of rough weeks without losing its grip on advertisers, customers and investors, and the latest developments may not change that equation.

  • Zuckerberg's challenge now is to figure out if he can use the ongoing PR nightmares to speed, rather than undermine, the transformation he wants.

Go deeper

Woman who allegedly stole laptop from Pelosi's office to sell to Russia is arrested

Photo: FBI

A woman accused of breaching the Capitol and planning to sell to Russia a laptop or hard drive she allegedly stole from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office was arrested in Pennsylvania's Middle District Monday, the Department of Justice said.

Driving the news: Riley June Williams, 22, is charged with illegally entering the Capitol as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct. She has not been charged over the laptop allegation and the case remains under investigation, per the DOJ.

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID-related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.