MENLO PARK, Calif. – Fb is beneath hearth from all corners of the globe however anybody who attended the tech big’s Worldwide Press Day would don’t know, as issues seem simply tremendous inside Mark Zuckerberg’s sprawling Silicon Valley headquarters.
Critics have put a highlight on widespread privateness considerations, conservative teams really feel Fb censors their sentiments and the Home Judiciary Committee is even investigating the corporate’s market dominance. Whereas all of this has created an infinite stream of damaging consideration, reporters from internationally discovered it troublesome to get solutions in the course of the two-day press occasion. It was all sunshine and rainbows as Fb honchos glowingly touted the corporate’s world initiatives whereas rank-and-file staffers praised the day-to-day office life-style.
Some attendees puzzled aloud why arduous information journalists had been included within the first place, as Fb’s charming communications staff fastidiously curated the data and classes. Throughout Day 1 of the occasion, over 50 reporters discovered about developments made to Fb’s app and the disclosing of a formidable new characteristic that encourages customers to donate blood.
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“Why are you guys even here?” a way of life reporter requested a bunch of journalists throughout a break.
Media members discovered slap varied animal masks onto their selfies throughout a session selling Fb Tales. At one level, Fb world advertising options vice chairman Carolyn Everson took the stage and sarcastically spoke about how Mark Zuckerberg isn’t afraid to take arduous questions throughout a session on the corporate’s tradition. To her credit score, Everson appeared keen to reply questions however solely took a handful earlier than being whisked away.
After Everson’s session, it was again to positivity with classes on the corporate’s worldwide matchmaker service referred to as Fb Courting and a seminar about Fb’s gaming initiatives. A session about what occurs to Fb profiles of useless individuals wrapped issues up earlier than an Instagram-branded comfortable hour.
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The tech big’s safety staff saved a detailed eye on journalists, who had been shortly corralled in the event that they wandered away from the press occasion. However workers who determined to work together with the press had a minimum of one factor in frequent: they love their jobs.
The huge campus is full of younger, casually dressed staffers having fun with infinite snacks in what seems to be a worry-free surroundings. It definitely doesn’t present if staffers are frightened about Fb’s plethora of points. The campus contains numerous eating choices the place workers eat without cost and there are inspirational messages plastered throughout the partitions. They’ve a burger joint, pizza locations, ice cream retailers, espresso locations, Mexican meals, BBQ, sushi, a ton of different cuisines and grab-and-go snacks are in all places. Effectively-traveled staffers do not thoughts praising the perks of working for Fb, which appears to accommodate their each want.
Restrooms are stocked with toiletries, cocktail events pop up sporadically and there may be even a spa. The mini group feels extra like an unique, grownup summer season camp than the headquarters of one of many world’s strongest companies – however plainly’s precisely what Fb execs need.
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The primary day of the two-day press occasion didn’t generate any headlines and reporters left eagerly awaiting Day 2, when COO Sheryl Sandberg was scheduled to conduct a Q&A. A few hours earlier than Sandberg’s session, the Wall Avenue Journal printed a report that Zuckerberg allegedly despatched emails indicating he was conscious of “potentially problematic privacy practices” on the firm.
The second day kicked off with an out of doors gathering the place the reporters had been taught respiratory methods and methods to loosen up. Whereas a number of attendees fortunately participated, others had been busy strategizing how they’d ask Sandberg concerning the Journal’s bombshell. However Fb had requested a few of the reporters in attendance to submit their questions upfront, permitting Sandberg to arrange for something thought of combative or unfriendly.
Fox Information submitted questions on Fb’s group requirements offering protections for immigration standing however not political affiliation, mental variety, free speech vs. hate speech and whether or not or not conservative sentiments might be deemed hate speech by liberal curators.
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Fox Information was not referred to as on throughout Sandberg’s session. Actually, no one that was referred to as on requested concerning the report. Sandberg fielded one query a few latest New York Instances opinion piece calling for Fb to be damaged up – however she basically brushed it off and moved on.
Afterward, a bunch of annoyed reporters tried to query Sandberg within the hallway however she was shortly whisked away.
“Sandberg oozed admiration for journalists, even as she failed to acknowledge Wednesday’s blockbuster report,” New York Publish tech reporter Nicolas Vega wrote. “Sandberg answered softball queries on topics like her recent trip to Thailand, girls in STEM and Facebook’s push toward messaging.”
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Fb executives spent the remainder of the day educating reporters on varied initiatives and merchandise. A few provocative questions had been randomly requested, however staffers didn’t have the authority or clout of Sandberg when it got here to talking about delicate matters.
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The occasion ended with a dinner the place reporters and Fb staffers mingled over drinks within the outside part of an off-campus restaurant. Israeli reporter Dror Globerman, who was having fun with his journey however annoyed by the dearth of actual journalism allowed on the occasion, tried to spherical up all of the questions submitted to Fb that went unanswered however it’s unclear what number of attendees had been keen to disclose their would-be queries.