“The Facebook Dilemma” Continues Tonight: A Note From Our Executive Producer


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg listens while testifying before a joint Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees hearing regarding the company's use and protection of user data, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

October 30, 2018
Raney Aronson-Rath Executive Producer, FRONTLINE

As you saw in part one of The Facebook Dilemma last night, the social media platform has had historic and far-reaching impact both at home and abroad.

Our challenge, from the start, was how to distill such a sprawling and consequential story – and a year’s worth of deep investigative reporting – into a coherent, fair and well-told narrative.

What we came to see was that although Facebook has more than two billion users, on many levels the story was about leadership, and the decisions made by a man on a mission to make the world “more open and connected.” So while this two-hour special covers years and many topics, Mark Zuckerberg is central to it all.

Our team collected an extensive archive of Zuckerberg’s public comments, appearances, and interviews over the years. His rise from college student to leader of a more-than-$400-billion company has been uniquely public and richly documented, so we had extensive footage and his own words to draw on to tell this story.

Tonight, in part two of The Facebook Dilemma, you’ll see how Zuckerberg responded after the 2016 election, when Facebook came under scrutiny for its role in disseminating disinformation — including false stories propagated by Russian operatives seeking to exploit divisions in American society and influence the election.

You’ll see how Facebook is preparing for next week’s midterm elections, how it’s trying to tackle a range of issues including hate speech and the spread of misinformation, and the way Zuckerberg views his company’s role in our country and our world.

It’s a story that impacts every one of us – whether we have Facebook accounts or not.

We hope you’ll join us tonight for the gripping conclusion of The Facebook Dilemma. If you missed part one, stream it online now. And, watch part two starting tonight at 10/9c on PBS stations (check local listings) and online.

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