NBC News reports that Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and other top executives are super pissed at the New York Times over what they say are weeks of antagonistic coverage and an anti-Facebook bias.
Dylan Byers reports that NYT ed-in-chief Dean Baquet's response is that Facebook is "a big company with unusual power."
Facebook can handle it. And Facebook deserves it.
• The frustration was rekindled this week after the Times bought a sponsored post on Facebook to promote "a step-by-step guide to breaking up with" Facebook and Instagram — a move sources likened to Facebook taking out an ad in the Times encouraging readers to cancel their subscriptions.
• The sponsored ad came after weeks of Times articles that cast Facebook as a reckless, data-hungry behemoth with little regard for user privacy or the integrity of American politics. These articles were aggressively promoted across the Times' social media accounts and in push notifications.
• Facebook sources believe some of the paper's reporters willfully ignored nuances about how the internet works in order to cast Facebook in the worst-possible light, either because the paper is hell-bent on crippling the social media network or because it is gunning for a Pulitzer Prize.
• Facebook spokesperson: "No comment."
The View from the Times: Asked to respond to the criticism, Times executive editor Dean Baquet told me Facebook was "a big company with unusual power that finds itself in the middle of some of the largest issues of the day — privacy and political meddling."
• As for the sponsored ad, Baquet said: "There is no connection between our coverage of Facebook and the company's business dealings with Facebook."