The absence of Zuckerberg and his deputy at the inauguration is notable in part because it comes on the heels of a month-long kerfuffle surrounding Sandberg’s claims of social media being exploited by Russia to spread disinformation.
At the #1 social media event in the world, where millions of people take to the stage to watch them speak, it is worth asking what is going on with the company’s top two leaders?
Facebook confirmed that Mark Zuckerberg did not attend the inauguration, “We are not an official sponsor of or funder of the inauguration.”
A spokesperson also noted that Zuckerberg was in the Los Angeles area, meeting with Facebook employees.
Sandberg did not speak on stage at the Women’s March on Washington.
In January, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told Axios that Facebook played a role in Russia’s efforts to disseminate propaganda and misinformation ahead of the 2016 election. “We saw ad buys from Russia,” she said. “We saw bad actors using Facebook to spread false information. That’s what we knew to be true a year ago. And we knew that there was a ripple effect around that, affecting voters, or disrupting the democratic process.”
Update: This story was updated with the fact that Sandberg did not attend the Women’s March on Washington.