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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Hits Back At Criticism From Apple CEO Tim Cook

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Hits Back At Criticism From Apple CEO Tim Cook

In a recent interview, Cook discussed the Cambridge Analytica scandal and explained how Apple 'wouldn't be in this situation'

Will Fitzpatrick

Will Fitzpatrick

Seems like a pretty cushy job, being chief executive of a vastly successful tech corporation, doesn't it? You've done the hard work, now it's time to let other people deal with the innovation and actual tech-y stuff while you sit back and watch the millions roll in. That's how I imagine it when I'm looking for fast-track CEO schemes on job sites.

But things haven't been so easy for Facebook supremo Mark Zuckerberg of late - the social media giant has faced much criticism as the Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed that data from more than 50 million users had been improperly used by the British political consulting firm.

Now 33-year-old Zuckerberg has hit back at claims from Apple CEO Tim Cook - who this week told Recode that his firm 'wouldn't be in this situation' - arguing that Facebook's advertising-funded model is in fact 'the only rational model' to support the service it offers.

Speaking with Vox journalist Ezra Klein, Zuckerberg was confronted with Cook's statement (specifically, that Apple sells products to users, rather than selling users' information to advertisers) and was quick to dismiss the notion.

"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," said the Facebook co-founder.

"The reality here is that if you want to build a service that helps connect everyone in the world, then there are a lot of people who can't afford to pay. And therefore, as with a lot of media, having an advertising-supported model is the only rational model that can support building this service to reach people.

"That doesn't mean that we're not primarily focused on serving people. I think - probably to the dissatisfaction of our sales team here - I make all of our decisions based on what's going to matter to our community and focus much less on the advertising side of the business.

"But if you want to build a service which is not just serving rich people, then you need to have something that people can afford."

Mark Zuckerberg.

He went on to compare his company's work to that of Amazon founder, entrepreneur and general LAD Jeff Bezos.

"I thought Jeff Bezos had an excellent saying on this in one of his Kindle launches a number of years back," continued Zuckerberg.

"He said, 'There are companies that work hard to charge you more, and there are companies that work hard to charge you less.' And 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. 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."

Tim Cook.

In his Recode interview, Cook had suggested that he wasn't in favour of Facebook's model of selling user information to advertisers, especially in the wake of the recent scandal, and repeated his oft-made calls for regulation of the way customers' data is used.

"I think the best regulation is no regulation, is self-regulation," he said. "However, I think we're beyond that here."

He added: "The truth is, we (Apple) could make a ton of money if we monetised our customer - if our customer was our product. We've elected not to do that."

Can't see this dispute ending any time soon, folks.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Phones and Gadgets, Social Media, Facebook, Technology, Apple, Mark Zuckerberg