“Dumb f**ks”: Mark Zuckerberg’s early verdict on Facebook user privacy

People aren’t happy with Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, who are alleged to have manipulated user data to influence various political events – not least the 2016 US Presidential Election, which was won by a certain Donald Trump. And that was before it was claimed the Facebook CEO made these disparaging comments about user privacy…

Trust Facebook to keep your personal information and data private? You’d be a ‘dumb f*ck’, according to a 19-year Mark Zuckerberg, who Business Insider reports shared his thoughts on the intelligence of Facebook (then ‘The Facebook’) users in exactly those terms.

Related: How to delete Facebook

Now head honcho of the world’s dominant social network, Zuckerberg has found himself embroiled in a privacy row after a whistleblower revealed how Cambridge Analytica created ‘propaganda tools’ that helped fuel Trump’s Republican revival in the US – and Facebook did nothing to stop it.

The BI article says that the following represents an instant messaging conversation between ‘Zuck’ and a friend from his student days at Harvard University in Boston, MA, which the site notes may have been made in jest.

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuck: Just ask.

Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.

Zuck: I don’t know why.

Zuck: They “trust me”

Zuck: Dumb fucks.

Ouch. Not what you’d want to see if you’re the billionaire head honcho of a social media platform currently mired in a PR crisis.

BI hammers home the point by noting that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told ‘The Facebook Effect’ author David Kirkpatrick that:

“Mark really does believe very much in transparency and the vision of an open society and open world, and so he wants to push people that way. I think he also understands that the way to get there is to give people granular control and comfort. He hopes you’ll get more open, and he’s kind of happy to help you get there. So for him, it’s more of a means to an end. For me, I’m not as sure.”

Well, that’s that then, it seems. We’ve reached out to Facebook’s representatives for comment and will update this article in due course, pending a response.

What do you think of the latest Facebook scandal? Let us know on Twitter or (ahem) Facebook @TrustedReviews.