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Sheryl Sandberg hits back at control-freak claims, says privacy criticism of Facebook is “lack of understanding”

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For a long time now, the COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg has commonly been described as a “control freak” who is extremely obsessed with her public image.

However, she opened up and defended her perceived image stating that she wasn’t a control freak and that she wished for people to perceive Zuckerberg as she does – a longtime friend.

In a recent podcast interview with the NBC reporter Dylan Byers for his new podcast Byers Market, Sandberg spoke about a wide variety of things, including her relationship with Zuckerberg and about how she was a “tough boss.”

“Mark is an enormously, enormously talented guy. He has a great product sense… People think he doesn’t understand people. That’s just clearly wrong,” said Sandberg.

Discussing her obsession with public image, she said, “we don’t spend that much time worrying about our public image.”

She also spoke about how people must focus on how they were performing as a company and whether they’re doing their jobs right. “The issue is not what people think of me or Mark personally. The issue is how are we doing as a company? How do we provide a great service, and how do we present some of the harm?”

The recently-released book, Facebook: The Inside Story, made several claims about Sandberg’s working style and accused her of being a control freak and a micromanager.

The book also claims that Sandberg screams at her staff. Responding to such allegations, Sandberg said that she would consider herself a fair yet tough boss.

“I’m a demanding boss and I’m a tough boss. I think I’m a very fair boss but I’m demanding,” said Sandberg.

Amidst growing concerns over how Facebook and other big tech companies were processing user data, users are now more skeptical about trusting social media companies with their data than ever.

Sandberg, on the other hand, says that such distrust and concerns about data collection were a result of “lack of understanding”.

“There is a growing concern, which is based on a lack of understanding, that we are using people’s information in a bad way. We are selling it. We are giving it away. We are violating it. None of that’s true. We do not sell data.

“Here’s what we do: We take your information and we show you personalized ads…a much better experience,” said Sandberg.

Concerning political ads across the platform, Sandberg said that it wasn’t Facebook’s job to censor politicians and that fact-checking political ads was not something anyone could possibly do.

She also addressed the fact that Facebook might be facing a competitive threat from TikTok, the short-form video-sharing app.

“They’re growing really quickly, they’ve gotten to bigger numbers faster than we ever did. Of course we worry about it, we have to be worried about all innovation,” said Sandberg.

Taking a jibe at TikTok, Sandberg said that people must be more concerned with using TikTok, if they cared about their privacy, because it’s Chinese company.

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