Sheryl Sandberg’s Legacy

It’s not clear how historical past will choose Sheryl Sandberg.

Sandberg, who stated on Wednesday that she was quitting Meta after 14 years as the corporate’s second in command, leaves behind an advanced skilled and private legacy.

She helped construct the corporate previously known as Fb into one of many world’s most influential and rich firms. Her writing and advocacy about ladies within the office and grief gave Sandberg affect on matters that few different American executives touched.

However Sandberg was additionally partly accountable for Fb’s failures throughout essential moments, notably when the corporate initially denied and deflected blame for Russia-backed trolls that had been abusing the positioning to inflame divisions amongst Individuals forward of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. And whereas her 2013 ebook “Lean In” kicked off vital conversations, a few of its concepts now really feel outdated.

As my colleagues wrote, “Sandberg is ending her tenure at Meta removed from the reputational pinnacle she reached final decade.”

A number of of America’s famous person tech firms, together with Apple, Amazon, Google and Oracle, have lived by way of comparatively current transitions wherein iconic founders have handed over energy to employed fingers. Sandberg will not be the founding father of Fb, in fact. However Fb wouldn’t be what it’s at present — each good and unhealthy — with out the partnership between Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg.

It’s additionally tough to think about her departure considerably altering Fb. That means that Sandberg’s largest affect might have been previously, and that she is now not as vital at Fb as both her supporters or her detractors imagine.

An architect of reworking digital promoting:

The 23-year-old Zuckerberg employed Sandberg in 2008 to determine easy methods to construct Fb into a big and lasting enterprise. On that rating, she succeeded past anybody’s desires. However that legacy is sophisticated, too.

Sandberg spearheaded a plan to construct from scratch a extra refined system of promoting that was largely based mostly on what she had helped develop at Google. Advertisements on Fb had been tied to individuals’s actions and pursuits on the positioning. As at Google, many advertisers purchased Fb advertisements on-line reasonably than by way of gross sales personnel, as had been typical for TV or newspaper advertisements. Later, Sandberg cultivated new programs for Fb advertisers to pinpoint their potential clients with much more precision.

Google and Fb reworked product advertising and marketing from largely an artwork to a generally creepy science, and Sandberg is among the many architects of that change. She shares within the credit score (or blame) for growing two of essentially the most profitable, and maybe least defensible, enterprise fashions in web historical past.

All of the anxiousness at present about apps snooping on individuals to glean each morsel of exercise to higher pitch us dishwashers — that’s partly Sandberg’s doing. So are Fb and Google’s mixed $325 billion in annual promoting gross sales and people of all different on-line firms that make cash from advertisements.

The sample of deny, deflect, defend.

Sandberg initially stated publicly that Fb performed little position within the organizing of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. That wasn’t fairly true. As my colleagues Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang reported, individuals used Fb to unfold misinformation about election fraud, which fueled anger among the many protesters. Some rioters used Fb to overtly talk about the logistics of the assault forward of time.

Of their 2021 ebook, “An Ugly Fact,” Sheera and Cecilia wrote that to Sandberg’s detractors, her response was a part of a sample of making an attempt to protect the corporate’s popularity or her personal reasonably than do the correct factor.

Sandberg was additionally amongst these accountable for Fb’s delayed or insufficient initial response in 2018 about information reviews {that a} political consulting agency, Cambridge Analytica, was capable of harvest private info on many hundreds of thousands of Fb customers.

Tech journalists and others who pay shut consideration to Fb regularly asked lately why Sandberg selected to remain on the firm. My colleague Mike Issac stated in at present’s DealBook e-newsletter that Sandberg misplaced affect as Zuckerberg assumed extra command over the corporate. Different executives took over duties that once were Sandberg’s, together with overseeing authorities coverage.

Sandberg might have as soon as believed that she may do much more good on the earth working at Fb than she may outdoors the corporate, however it was tough to inform if that was true anymore.

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Tip of the Week

Brian X. Chen, the buyer know-how columnist for The New York Instances, presents recommendation for turning into a part of the answer to the scourge of bogus textual content messages.

In a current column, I reported on the rising annoyance of text-message spam, which not too long ago outpaced the rise of robocalls.

The texts could be transport notices a few package deal that you simply didn’t order, or pitches for questionable well being merchandise like weight-loss tablets. The hyperlinks inside these texts usually level you to a web site asking on your private info, together with your bank card quantity, which scammers may use for fraud.

There’s no signal of SMS spam slowing down. So among the best issues you are able to do is turn into a part of the answer: Ahead the spam textual content to your cellphone provider.

That may assist the carriers study what cellphone numbers and language are being utilized in spam texts. That’s helpful info to assist the carriers enhance their know-how to cease these messages from ever reaching your cellphone.

Right here’s easy methods to ahead spam texts to the carriers:

On iPhones, faucet and maintain down on the message and faucet “Extra.” Then press the ahead button, which is the arrow on the bottom-right nook of the display. Within the recipient area, enter 7726 and hit ship.

On Android telephones, faucet and maintain down on the message. When a menu pops up, choose “Ahead Message.” Enter 7726 within the recipient area and hit ship.

  • A trial by TikTok: The jury delivered a verdict on Wednesday within the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. My colleague Amanda Hess not too long ago explored why the trial turned fodder for near-continuous fan commentary on TikTok and different apps, most of which portrayed Depp as a hero and Heard as a villain.

  • Will it make youngsters safer in faculties if extra of them deliver telephones to lecture rooms? Consultants told The Washington Publish that they didn’t suggest it, partly as a result of they stated youngsters ought to focus their consideration throughout an emergency like a faculty taking pictures on lecturers and different educators, and a cellphone may make undesirable noises throughout a silent lockdown. (A subscription could also be required.)

  • The sound of nothing is seemingly an enormous enterprise: Individuals who create Spotify audio mixes of simply static, ocean waves or different white noise are making as much as $18,000 a month, Bloomberg Information reported. (A subscription could also be required.)

How does an overheated rhino cool off? By getting very mucky.


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