Update, Mar. 21, 3:45pm: Zuckerberg finally broke his silence on Facebook by posting a statement about Cambridge Analytica on his page.
Original Post: Ever since reports emerged that data firm Cambridge Analytica accessed personal information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts and later used it to aid the Trump presidential campaign, we’ve heard nary a peep from CEO Mark Zuckerberg. As The Atlantic and Recode both asked in stories, “Where is Mark Zuckerberg?” In fact, a corporate statement from Facebook is the only public indication Zuckerberg has been following the controversy: “Mark, Sheryl and their teams are working around the clock to get all the facts and take the appropriate action moving forward, because they understand the seriousness of this issue. The entire company is outraged we were deceived. We are committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information and will take whatever steps are required to see that this happens.”
On the platform he founded, Zuckerberg has been similarly quiet. After spending hours Facebook-stalking Zuckerberg, Slate has determined that this is the longest span of time he’s gone without posting anything on his page since at least the beginning of 2015. The last dispatch on his feed is from 19 days ago on Mar. 2: a picture of himself and his wife, Priscilla Chan, holding a tray of triangular Jewish pastries called “hamentashen.” The longest he’d abstained from posting before that was during his parental leave in December, when he went 18 days without a status update.
Zuckerberg has been less active on his platform overall in 2018. From 2015 to 2017, he would post one or twice every few days, often uploading pictures of his family or meetings with foreign leaders. Last year, he used the platform to track his progress on visiting states across the country, his annual goal for self-improvement. The longest stretches of time without any posts were usually no longer than a week. This year, with the goal of improving Facebook, he’s been posting less frequently.
Given Facebook’s PR narrative, it makes sense that Zuckerberg hasn’t posted anything since the weekend. Because he’s supposed to be “working around the clock” to get to the bottom of this Cambridge Analytica mess, the optics of posting another picture of himself with more pastries probably wouldn’t be great. The Huffington Post did find that Zuckerberg has been “liking” posts since the weekend. He did so with two posts from Saturday, and on Monday, he “liked” a picture of a hiker at Yosemite.
There are reports that Zuckerberg will finally emerge and give a speech on the controversy on Wednesday. Perhaps, after that, he’ll get back to posting.