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    Sheryl Sandberg reportedly used Facebook resources to help embattled Activision CEO

    Meta is reportedly investigating whether Sheryl Sandberg broke company rules in her dealings with a publication that was reporting on Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who she was dating at the time. According to a in The Wall Street Journal, the Meta COO used company resources to help kill negative reporting about Kotick. Meta is now reportedly conducting a “review” of her actions and “whether she violated the company’s rules.”

    According to the report, the British tabloid MailOnline was pursuing a story based on allegations made by a former girlfriend of Kotick’s, and a temporary restraining order she had received against him. But Sandberg and Kotick worked together on two separate occasions, in 2016 and in 2019, to strategize on how to “persuade the Daily Mail not to report on the restraining order.”

    The report states that Facebook and Activision staff were both directly involved in the effort, and that there was concern internally at Facebook that the story would “reflect negatively on her reputation as an advocate for women.”

    The Wall Street Journal report also questions whether Sandberg inappropriately wielded her influence as Facebook COO in her dealings with the MailOnline management. One of the paper’s unnamed sources states that Kotick “told people that Ms. Sandberg threatened the Mail in 2016 by saying that such an article, if published, could damage the news organization’s business relationship with Facebook.”

    In a statement, a Meta spokesperson denied Sandberg had “threatened” MailOnline. “Sheryl Sandberg never threatened the MailOnline’s business relationship with Facebook in order to influence an editorial decision,” the spokesperson said. “This story attempts to make connections that don’t exist.” Kotick told The Journal he “never said anything like that.”

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