On July 22, the News Media Alliance hosted a policy maker breakfast and book launch event for An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang at The Dubliner in Washington, D.C. The launch featured special guests Kang and House Antitrust Chairman David Cicilline (D-RI).
Written by two award-winning New York Times journalists, The Ugly Truth debuted as a best seller in early July. Frenkel covers cybersecurity and Kang covers technology and regulatory policy at The Times. Their unique insights provide a troubling look into the tech giant’s rise and control.
The book largely focuses on the time period between 2015 and 2020, starting with the 2016 election and ending with the January 6th insurrection. From data leaks to internal scandals, Facebook’s role in Mynamar’s genocide to the FTC lawsuit against Facebook, The Ugly Truth goes deep on Facebook’s unprecedented power and the power to corrupt.
WaxWord's take on @ceciliakang and @sheeraf new book, #AnUglyTruth: The back jacket sums up the arrogance & dissembling coming from the top, a series of mealy-mouthed apologies, none convincing. https://t.co/XA8nyeUPHu
— Sharon Waxman (@sharonwaxman) July 26, 2021
The book’s back cover is speckled with quotes from Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg from 2006 to 2020, each one acknowledging fault, apologizing and admitting Facebook needs to do better.
Chavern tweeted, “Such a great event and so happy to celebrate #TheUglyTruth and @ceciliakang — and very honored to hear from @davidcicilline, a real leader for our times.”
Cicilline is known for his staunch stance against Facebook, calling them a monopoly and issuing a statement in December of 2020 saying “[Facebook’s] abuse of its dominance harms competition, innovation, and other businesses. In the absence of competition and accountability, Facebook has harmed people’s privacy and allowed disinformation to flourish on its platform, threatening our democracy.”
Following the event, Cecilia Kang shared on Twitter that she was “Glad to share insights from our book and to wonk out with such an informed policy crowd.”