Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg reportedly asked employees to do research on George Soros following a speech he gave criticizing the social media giant.
Sandberg sent an email to senior communications and policy executives in January that asked them to look into the billionaire’s financial interests, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
Soros had given a speech at the World Economic Forum, where he branded Facebook a “menace to society.” Facebook conducted research and discovered Soros was behind funding for a group called Freedom from Facebook.
The social media company recently admitted to hiring an opposition research firm — called Definers Public Affairs — to probe Soros.
“In January 2018, investor and philanthropist George Soros attacked Facebook in a speech at Davos, calling us a ‘menace to society,’” Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s outgoing head of communications and policy, said in a statement last week.
“We had not heard such criticism from him before and wanted to determine if he had any financial motivation. Definers researched this using public information.”
Facebook told The Post on Thursday that the research on Soros had begun before Sandberg sent out the email.
“As Elliot said last week, we researched potential motivations behind George Soros’s criticism of Facebook in January 2018,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
“That research was already underway when Sheryl sent an email asking if Mr. Soros had shorted Facebook’s stock. Sheryl never directed research on Freedom from Facebook. But as she said before she takes full responsibility for any activity that happened on her watch. ”