I believe it’s evident now that Facebook is not yet a grown-up company or ready for IPO, proven by its feeble response to the privacy crsis over the last few weeks. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has not fared well in a crisis of leadership indicating the company cannot master even basic principles of public relations and customer satisfaction.
Watching this video, I asked myself, does it look like this man cares about me? Answer: No. It’s like he’s doing it because his mother told him he has to.
Other things I ask myself when I watch this vidoe: Is this guy actually wearing a hoodie? How old is he? This is the guy in charge of my Internet privacy? Can somebody give him some bubble gum and a skateboard?
This company has experienced complete public relations failure. What is public relations (PR)? PR is about controlling and responding to developing stories in a rapid fashion. But more than that, PR is about showing the public that you actually care (even if, as in many cases, you don’t). Facebook has completely failed at this. As a Facebook users, I don’t believe Mark Zuckerberg even cares what I think.
I have been in the media business for all of my working life (22 years), and I don’t think I can ever recall such a large company being so inept at PR.
Many publications leaped to explain how you could quickly disable these “features.” But the point seemed to be made almost instantly: Why would Facebook think that all users would want to automatically publish everything on their social network to the whole world.
Zuckerberg’s response to all of this has been slow, patronizing, and downright insulting to Facebook’s millions of users. It was took weeks before Facebook even responded to the controversy. Zuckerberg’s response largely consisted of him lecturing people about how there is no privacy on the Internet any more.
This is not new. it’s been proven that Zuckerberg doesn’t respond well to criticism. He frequently dismisses it.
Facebook needs to come out and admit all of their mistakes. Facebook’s entire privacy approach has been poorly defined, altered without basic consideration to the user, and essentially broken. Then they need to fix all of the privacy controls. Then Mark Zuckerberg needs to climb out of his ivory tower and apologize to his millions of customers for compromising their privacy and insulting their intelligence.
This is a true leadership crisis for Facebook, one that could mark a real turning point in the company. Zuckerberg may think that his company’s billion-dollar valuation and amazing success so far means he’s made it, but it doesn’t. This is the kind of crisis that can stop a company in its tracks.