Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hit back Apple CEO Tim Cook, calling Cook’s comments about Facebook “extremely glib.” Cook told Recode last week that he would never be in the situation that Zuckerberg has found himself in, facing backlash for the massive Cambridge Analytica data breach.
Cook said, “The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer — if our customer was our product. We’ve elected not to do that.” Apple, instead, has monetized products to customers, and Cook argued that was a sounder business model and not vulnerable to the same problems Facebook is having.
In an interview with Vox, Zuckerberg dismissed Cook’s argument as insincere and shallow. He said, “You know, I find that argument, that if you’re not paying that somehow we can’t care about you, to be extremely glib and not at all aligned with the truth.”
Zuckerberg said that Facebook remains free to use because it’s focused on connecting people, and many people can’t afford to pay, therefore, “having an advertising-supported model is the only rational model that can support building this service to reach people.”
The Facebook CEO continued his pushback against Cook by saying, “If you want to build a service which is not just serving rich people, then you need to have something that people can afford.” He added, “At Facebook, we are squarely in the camp of the companies that work hard to charge you less and provide a free service that everyone can use. I don’t think at all that that means that we don’t care about people.”
Instead, Zuckerberg argued that it’s tech companies like Apple that charged premiums that might care less. “To the contrary, I think it’s important that we don’t all get Stockholm syndrome and let the companies that work hard to charge you more convince you that they actually care more about you. Because that sounds ridiculous to me,” he said.
You can read the full transcript and listen to the interview on Vox’s podcast The Ezra Klein Show. In the interview with Klein, Zuckerberg also discussed users being able to appeal community policy violations, dealing with fake news, Russian bots, and the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, and more.