“I promise to do better for you,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg says in the ads.
On Wednesday night, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ended days of silence on the social networking giant’s latest controversy: Revelations that a political data firm called Cambridge Analytica absconded with the data of 50 million unsuspecting Facebook users, which Facebook knew about but kept secret.
Zuckerberg gave apologetic interviews that night to CNN, Wired and the New York Times — as well as Recode’s Kara Swisher and Kurt Wagner, to whom he said he’d be “open” to testifying in front of Congress. Which is fortuitous, because Congress is very open to that idea, too.
Today, the apology tour extended into print media: Facebook purchased full-page ads in several newspapers with apology letters attributed to Zuckerberg. The papers reached include the NYT, the Washington Post and the Observer, a British newspaper published by the Guardian that Facebook allegedly threatened with a lawsuit when its reporters were about to publish a story about Cambridge Analytica.
A full page ad in The Observer today — an apology from Facebook. A week after Facebook threatened the newspaper with legal action about the story exposing Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data. pic.twitter.com/lJte7hh0tT
— Donie O’Sullivan (@donie) March 25, 2018
In the full-page ads, the company reiterates its messages of “we should have done more then” and “we’ll do better,” specifically pledging to “tell everyone affected” if and when it finds more examples of apps connected to its platform that made off with non-consenting users’ data.
The full text of the ad is below. For more, check out the latest episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, in which Swisher and Wagner talk with Lauren Goode about what and why Facebook has been saying what it is.
We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it.
You may have heard about a quiz app built by a university researcher that leaked Facebook data of millions of people in 2014. This was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time. We’re now taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
We’ve already stopped apps like this from getting so much information. Now we’re limiting the data apps get when you sign in using Facebook.
We’re also investigating every single app that had access to large amounts of data before we fixed this. We expect there are others. And when we find them, we will ban them and tell everyone affected.
Finally, we’ll remind you which apps you’ve given access to your information — so you can shut off the ones you don’t want anymore.
Thank you for believing in this community. I promise to do better for you.