Mark Zuckerberg is juggling lots of balls in the air these days so he really doesn’t need the headache of novelist Stephen King taking a swipe at Facebook because the platform supports a "flood of false information that's allowed in its political advertising" and falls flat when it comes to protecting users' privacy.
King announced that he was quitting Facebook, where he had 5M followers, via Twitter.
The novelist, who is not a supporter of president Trump, may be upset with Zuckerberg's "hands-off" policy when it comes to policing political ads.
That policy enabled Russia to use Facebook to plant false information during the 2016 election that helped Trump beat Hillary Clinton.
Expect the same Russian interference in the 2020 contest, especially in light of the Senate Republicans' decision to acquit Trump on charges that he attempted to pressure Ukraine into launching a bogus investigation into the dealings of Hunter Biden to weaken the political fortunes of his father, Joe.
To retain its grip on power, the GOP declared "open season" on the 2020 election. Happy hunting, Vlad.
Zuckerberg's my-way-or-the-highway management policy infuriates critics who want him to bring in some outsiders to oversee Facebook.
On Feb. 3, he appointed his good friend Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox, to Facebook's board.
That move follows the addition of Peggy Alford, who was CFO at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, to the board. The Institute is the charitable arm of Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.
In his statement, Zuckerberg said Houston "thinks deeply about where technology is going and how to build a culture that delivers services that always work well.”
While those services are working well in Zuckerberg's mind, the Financial Times pointed out that Dropbox, which went public in March 2018, "has struggled to scale up and move into profitability.
Its shares were priced at $21 when the company listed but were trading at $16.91 on the day Facebook announced Houston as a new board member.
Noting that 70 percent of external shareholders backed the introduction of an independent board chair, the FT said that the "significant protest vote highlights growing concern among investors over the extent of Mr Zuckerberg’s power, as the company faces pressure to better curb harmful content and the spread of disinformation on its platform, and to establish better privacy and security controls for users."
Zuckerberg is playing a dangerous game. His stonewalling of critics is an open invitation for Washington to curb the power of his social media platform.