Mark Zuckerberg's Response To Ebola Trolling On Facebook Was Perfect
For being the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg doesn't seem to have that active of a Facebook presence. At least, not on his public profile. And I get it, Mark. You don't want to attract a lot of unwanted attention to yourself, especially not when you run the largest social media site in the history of the Internet. But on Thursday, Zuckerberg broke a lot of rules, and got feisty on Facebook and honest in a public Q&A session. Not only did he shut down a troll who accused him of exploiting Ebola for Facebook traffic, but he also decided to tell users why he wears the same shirt every day, and why he forced you to download that stupid Messenger app.
Thursday was a big day for Facebook. For one, they launched announced their partnership with UNICEF to fight Ebola, launching their "Together We Can Stop Ebola" Facebook page. The effort is an impressive one, and shows a continued commitment from Zuck and company to contribute to the greater good. In addition to UNICEF, Facebook will also be working alongside International Medical Corps, the Red Cross and Save the Children, who are all involved in the fight against the virus. Facebook users will be prompted to make donations to these three non-profits, but Facebook is doing more than just levying spending power. The Internet company is also implementing emergency voice/data services to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three worst affected nations, as well as working with UNICEF to spread valuable information to the West African populace about Ebola symptoms and treatment methods.
But as Mark Zuckerberg found out, no good deed goes unpunished, or unnoticed, in this technological age. When Zuckerberg took to his own Facebook page to announce the new partnership, one particularly skeptical user commented, "Facebook is giving everyone the ability to donate, but how much is Facebook donating? ... this seems just marketing to me one more time."
This comment, while probably uncalled for, is certainly not the meanest thing that's been said on Facebook, and certainly not on the Internet. But it did catch Mark's attention, who replied just moments later, "I personally donated $25 million and Facebook is spending millions more on providing Internet connectivity in the affected regions."
As one appreciative user noted, Mark "obliterated" his skeptics. Because when Mark Zuckerberg responds to you on Facebook, you've either done something really right, or really, really wrong.
But that's not all Zuckerberg did on Thursday. He also held his first ever live Q&A session, a tradition that Facebook employees normally get to enjoy every week. But this time, Zuckerberg opened it up to the whole world, allowing everyone to take their turns at hitting the Facebook founder with tough questions.
One of the most popular, unsurprisingly, was why the tech star wears the same t-shirt every day. His answer, to be perfectly honest, makes me like him a little less than his retort to his Ebola critic. Said Zuckerberg, "I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community."
Great cause, questionable solution. He continued to say that with the weight of responsibility that rests on his shoulders, he is unnecessarily encumbered by small, meaningless decisions like what to eat for breakfast or what to wear on a daily basis. So he takes the problem of choice out of the equation altogether, and just does the same thing every. single. day. I don't know, man. A lot of people are really busy and have a lot to do. But they still enjoy picking things to eat. While Zuckerberg tried to note that President Obama also appears wearing similar outfits, I would like to point out that I have definitely seen our president wear different ties, different suits, and even, gasp, not wear a suit.
Another popular question centered around the decidedly unpopular Messenger app, which users must download separately in order to converse with their Facebook friends on mobile. In response, Zuckerberg explained that "each [mobile] app can only focus on doing one thing well," and because the Facebook app's primary focus is News Feed, another app was necessary for messaging.
Said the CEO,
Messaging is one of the few things people do more than social networking. In some countries 85 percent of people are on Facebook, but 95 percent of people use SMS or messaging. Asking folks to install another app is a short term painful thing, but if we wanted to focus on serving this [use case] well, we had to build a dedicated and focused experience. We build for the whole community.
Honestly, I just don't understand how someone who has the time to give that long-winded of an answer to a question like, "Why are you making me download Messenger" doesn't have time to pick out a favorite breakfast cereal.
Images: Getty Images (3); Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook