Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is feeling pretty philosophical about his roller coaster of week, which saw him berated by Congress over the harmful content on his products one day and celebrated by investors for delivering buckets of dough the next.
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“You’re never as good as they say when you’re up, or as bad as they say when you’re down,” Zuckerberg said in a Threads post on Thursday. “Just keep building and doing good work over long periods of time.”
The Meta CEO certainly has experience being both one of tech’s biggest heroes and one of its most reviled villains. Once heralded for bringing the world together online through Facebook, his company’s flagship blue app, two decades ago, Zuckerberg has soured on lawmakers and the public over the years because of Meta’s various scandals.
Most recently, Zuckerberg was slammed at a Congressional hearing for putting profits ahead of child safety, with one senator saying the CEO had “blood on his hands.” At the Wednesday hearing, Zuckerberg apologized to the parents of children who had been sexually exploited online.
“I’m sorry for everything you have all been through,” Zuckerberg said. “No one should go through the things that your families have suffered and this is why we invest so much and we are going to continue doing industry wide efforts to make sure no one has to go through the things your families have had to suffer.”
The Meta CEO acknowledged the families’ suffering, but he declined to commit to starting a victim’s compensation fund and did not comment on whether his company’s platforms were partly to blame.
While there were plenty of Zuckerberg critics in Congress on Wednesday, they were largely gone on Wall Street when Meta reported its financial results on Thursday. Meta posted a yearly revenue of $134.90 billion, an increase of 16% year-over-year, and announced it would issue a cash dividend of $0.50 per share to its stockholders for the first time in its history. Meta shares were up 15% on Friday.
Zuckerberg also announced that Threads, his Twitter alternative, had more than 130 million active users. In December, Threads was one of the top 10 most downloaded apps on Apple and Android, TechCrunch reported.
It all goes to show what the Meta CEO has already figured out: People have short memories, especially on the Internet. Today’s hero could be tomorrow’s villain—just look at Elon Musk. Whatever helps you sleeps better at night, I guess.
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