Zuckerberg didn’t move fast, but might have broken something

March 26, 2018 by Jonathan Hemus

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Facebook’s mantra for its developer community used to be ‘move fast and break things’. Certainly, one element of that old adage rings true with Facebook’s response to the Cambridge Analytica crisis.


The breakdown in trust between the social media giant and its billion-strong, user base has forced CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, to admit the company messed up, issue a detailed list of resolutions and, finally, apologise.


Zuckerberg’s three-part response to the crisis would ordinarily be commended as best practice had it not been for his failure to act quickly enough. As a consequence, his company faces a whirlwind of media speculation and a call on the online community for people to delete their Facebook accounts.


It was only after politicians and media commentators asked, ‘Where is Mark Zuckerberg’ and questioned why he hadn’t issued an apology, that he surfaced. As a consequence, other commentators set the media agenda and the reputation of Facebook has suffered as a result.


These days, even if you say and do exactly the right things in response to a crisis you will still suffer harm if you don’t say them quickly enough.  Why? Largely because of the pace and power of social media. Which makes Zuckerberg’s slow response both puzzling and ironic.