Mark Zuckerberg could have a cult-like following, survey hints

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    FILE - In this May 23, 2018 file photo, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg smiles during a picture with guests attending the "Tech for Good" Summit at the Elysee Palace in Paris.  (Charles Platiau/Pool Photo via AP, File)

    FILE – In this May 23, 2018 file photo, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg smiles during a picture with guests attending the "Tech for Good" Summit at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (Charles Platiau/Pool Photo via AP, File)

    A new survey shows that Facebook employees overwhelmingly support the company despite constant scandals and persistent criticism of the company.

    The survey by Blind, an anonymous employee social network, asked questions of tech employees and found that those working at Facebook overwhelmingly supported the company while non-employees did not.

    Two questions were most pertinent: “Has Mark Zuckerberg devalued Facebook? Should Zuckerberg remain as CEO at Facebook?”

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    A total of 11,795 tech employees using the Blind App answered the first question, with 56.5 percent, a decisive majority, answering “Yes” that Zuckerberg-related scandals diminished Facebook.

    But here’s the catch. Among those 11,795 tech employees, only 985 Facebook employees answered the question and only 17 percent of them answered “Yes.”

    On the second question, 8,229 tech employees answered the question, with 46.7 percent answering “No” to whether Zuckerberg should remain as CEO of Facebook.

    However, the result for Facebook employees was similar to the first question. Among those who answered, 735 were Facebook employees, with only 16.6 percent responding “No.”

    The results reveal a high level of employee loyalty to the Facebook CEO even after a year plagued by scandals and controversy involving unauthorized sharing of user data, a massive user data breach, hate speech, and fake news. There were also repeated calls for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to resign, amid scathing media criticism of the CEO.

    “Even with all the negative press about Facebook in 2018, our latest survey results indicate that Facebook employees overwhelmingly support Mark Zuckerberg,” TeamBlind spokesperson Curie Kim told Fox News.

    Expert observers of Facebook agree. “Zuckerberg has indeed cultivated a cult following,” Lawrence Cunningham, a corporate governance expert at George Washington University, told Fox News.

    “Employee support is extremely helpful to any CEO, and Facebook's staff rallying around Zuckerberg fortifies his hand in any discussion about his role or the company's direction,” Cunningham added.

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    Shareholder support is also strong at Facebook. “Zuckerberg also enjoys a cult following among shareholders. Hundreds of them have more than 5 percent of their portfolios in the stock. In a world of diversified investors, that is a rare level of concentration,” Cunningham said.

    Cunningham added, however, that politicians and user groups will keep the pressure on Zuckerberg to defend his company and he pointed to an op-ed in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, “The Facts About Facebook,” a defense of the company written by Zuckerberg himself.

    “Sometimes…people assume we do things that we don’t do. For example, we don’t sell people’s data, even though it’s often reported that we do,” Zuckberg wrote.

    “Another question is whether we leave harmful or divisive content up because it drives engagement. We don’t. People consistently tell us they don’t want to see this content. Advertisers don’t want their brands anywhere near it,” he continued.

    Zuckerberg also pushed back on the accusation that the company stores too much user data.

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