Facebook is now approaching half a billion active users, making it more populous than every country on Earth except for India and China. So what's a global superpower to do when it looks, more than ever, like it's run by a young monarch with little regard for his subjects? It's the oldest trick in the book: Paint the awkward 26-year-old as a fallible boy-king instead. He's not a conniving conqueror of user privacy, the company wants us to understand, he's the dauphin on the eve of battle. That's the image that Facebook put forward Monday in a Washington Post op-ed authored by Zuckerberg about the company's recent product changes that ignited a firestorm of user unrest over the state of private user data.
Either way, he's still extraordinarily powerful.