LAST year the idea took hold that Mark Zuckerberg might run for president in 2020 and seek to lead the world’s most powerful country. Today, Facebook’s founder is fighting to show that he is capable of leading the world’s eighth-biggest listed company or that any of its 2.1bn users should trust it.
News that Cambridge Analytica (CA), a firm linked to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, got data on 50m Facebook users in dubious, possibly illegal, ways has lit a firestorm (see article). Mr Zuckerberg took five days to reply and, when he did, he conceded that Facebook had let its users down in the past but seemed not to have grasped that its business faces a wider crisis of confidence. After months of talk about propaganda and fake news, politicians in Europe and, increasingly, America see Facebook as out of control and in denial.
Read more: Facebook faces a reputational meltdown