Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook vs. democracy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook's leaders have accumulated dynastic wealth from mining the personal information of a billion Facebook users and then selling those users to the highest bidder — even when that bidder is actively seeking to undermine democracy.

The backdrop: In the Philippines, the government uses Facebook to suppress dissent. In the U.K., Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data in violation of campaign-finance laws to affect the outcome of the Brexit vote. And in the U.S., of course, Russia's Internet Research Agency ran more than 3,500 pro-Trump Facebook ads during the 2016 election.

Sheryl Sandberg's shifting story

Sheryl Sandberg
Photo:Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg keeps adjusting the story she tells about controversies involving the company and billionaire George Soros, a frequent recipient of anti-Semitic attacks. Specifically at issue is her role in the company's reaction to criticism from Soros and in the company's relationship with a consulting firm that linked the social network's critics to him.

Why it matters: Sandberg’s boss, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has stood by her thus far. But the flow of new revelations about what she knew, and what she did, are further fraying the company's reputation.

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