The Times detailed obfuscation by Facebook's top bosses on the Russian Federation front, said the company has at times smeared critics as anti-Semitic or tried to link activists to billionaire investor George Soros, and also tried to shift public anger away toward rival tech companies.
According to a report out of the New York Times yesterday, Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg ordered the company's high-level managers to switch to Android phones earlier this year.
And when the scope of the problem became clear, Sandberg then oversaw an aggressive lobbying campaign to not only undermine its critics but to shift public anger toward rivals such as Google, according to the story.
Zuckerberg also said the company has to wade through questions about the limits of what users should be able to express, who decides policies and makes enforcement decisions, and who holds those people accountable.
In a blog post Thursday, Facebook said there were "a number of inaccuracies" in the story, but also said it cut ties with the opposition research firm.
However, an analyst for the financial services company Morgan Stanley has said that Apple's caution in regard to production rate and sales figures has hit the stock price harder than it should have, and that investors should continue to trade optimistically in the tech giant.
Zuckerberg said Facebook is continuing to develop artificial intelligence tools to spot content that violates its rules, from nudity to violence and hate speech, and either automatically take it down or bring it to a human's attention.
In her post, Sandberg said she didn't know Facebook was working with Definers.
"It is alarming that Facebook would engage in these unsavory tactics", Vachon said on Thursday. "You are no doubt also aware that much of this hateful and blatantly false and anti-Semitic information is spread via Facebook", Gaspard wrote in the letter, under the headline, "Facebook's Smear Campaign Against George Soros". "To now learn that you were active in promoting these distortions is beyond the pale".
This involved Russians looking at the Facebook accounts of people involved in U.S. presidential election campaigns and, later, Russian-controlled accounts offering reporters information from hacked emails from senior Democratic Party officials.