Mark Zuckerberg stands in front of an American flag looking surprised.

Leaked Audio of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Complaining About Elizabeth Warren Is Basically a Campaign Ad for Her

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Mark Zuckerberg is still answering for Facebook’s role in allowing Russian agents to sow discord among American voters ahead of the 2016 election, and here he is already looking ahead to influencing the 2020 election.

In leaked audio from a two-hour meeting with employees, Zuckerberg addressed concerns that those mean ol’ Democrats are increasingly choosing to pick on these poor billionaires and their massive monopolistic corporations. He specifically singled out Elizabeth Warren, saying that if she were elected president, he’d have to “fight.”

If Warren wins in 2020, he says, “then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge. And does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government. I mean, that’s not the position that you want to be in when you’re, you know, I mean … it’s like, we care about our country and want to work with our government and do good things. But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight.”

Elizabeth Warren has some thoughts on that:

Honestly, is there any better endorsement of a candidate than to hear how threatened they make billionaires feel?

Whether Zuckerberg has accepted it or not, Facebook is a major political tool. There’s the massive number of foreign bots pushing agendas, the data mining firms buying our information, and also this B.S.:

That, by the way, comes after Facebook removed Warren ads from the site earlier this year because they included the Facebook logo in her plan to break up tech giants.

Zuckerberg seemed to be trying to convince his employees that Warren’s fight to break up companies like Facebook is pointless. “I just think the case is not particularly strong on this,” he said at the meeting.”It’s just that breaking up these companies, whether it’s Facebook or Google or Amazon, is not actually going to solve the issues.”

Zuckerberg claims that trying to regulate Facebook “doesn’t make election interference less likely. It makes it more likely because now the companies can’t coordinate and work together. It doesn’t make any of the hate speech or issues like that less likely. It makes it more likely because now … all the processes that we’re putting in place and investing in, now we’re more fragmented.”

That’s not exactly convincing, given Facebook’s terrible track record on things like election interference and managing hate speech so far. The we’ll take care of it ourselves argument doesn’t work when you’ve proven that you can’t and you won’t, but it’s nice to know that Zuck seems to be panicking.

(via The Verge, image: Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.