Sheryl Sandberg Uses Facebook's Woes as Lesson for MIT Grads

Sheryl Sandberg Uses Facebook's Woes as Lesson for MIT Grads

Fb government Sheryl Sandberg did not draw back from her firm’s ongoing privateness scandal in a Friday graduation speech on the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise. As an alternative, she turned it right into a lesson about accountability.

Sandberg, the corporate’s chief working officer, repeatedly warned graduates that even expertise created with the very best intentions will be twisted to do hurt, a lesson that she mentioned hits near house, “given a number of the points Fb has had.”

“At Fb, we did not see all of the dangers coming, and we did not do sufficient to cease them,” Sandberg mentioned. “It is arduous when you understand you let folks down.”

Echoing earlier feedback from Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Sandberg went on to emphasise the significance of taking full accountability for errors.

“Whenever you personal your errors, you may work arduous to appropriate them, and even tougher to forestall the following ones,” she mentioned on the campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “That is my job now. It will not be straightforward, and it is not going to be quick, however we are going to see it via.”

Fb has confronted backlash within the wake of a privateness scandal involving British data-mining agency Cambridge Analytica. In April, Zuckerberg appeared earlier than Congress to apologize for the location’s function in international interference within the 2016 election.

The furor continued with latest revelations that Fb shared consumer information with system makers together with China’s Huawei, and that an unrelated software program bug made some personal posts public for as much as 14 million customers over a number of days in Could.

Sandberg mentioned she’s nonetheless pleased with the corporate, noting its energy to assist arrange actions just like the Ladies’s March and Black Lives Matter. However she warned graduates that expertise has a flipside, and is not all the time used for the sake of fine.

“It additionally empowers those that would search to do hurt,” she mentioned. “When everybody has a voice, some elevate their voices in hatred. When everybody can share, some share lies. And when everybody can arrange, some arrange in opposition to the issues we worth essentially the most.”

Sandberg, an alumna of Harvard College, is a former vice chairman at Google and was chief of workers for the U.S. Treasury Division beneath President Invoice Clinton. She has written three bestselling books on management and resilience.

A lot of her speech was in regards to the function of expertise in society, a standard matter at MIT, a faculty identified for its tech prowess. However her recommendation additionally drew on broader subjects which have captured the nation’s consideration, together with tensions tied to race and gender.

“Construct workplaces the place everybody — everybody — is handled with respect,” she mentioned. “We have to cease harassment and maintain each perpetrators and enablers accountable. And we have to make a private dedication to cease racism and sexism.”

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