Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t always had a squeaky-clean reputation, and the Facebook/Meta founder and CEO has accrued a slew of less-than-flattering nicknames throughout his career. But during his recent appearance on The Tim Ferriss Show, he shared a particularly eyebrow-raising label given to him by his own employees: The Eye of Sauron.
Zuckerberg brought up the moniker after he and Ferriss began discussing how he manages his energy in the workplace while constantly being barraged with news and information. “Maybe I’m not strong-willed enough or calm enough to do just straight-up meditation,” Zuck said. “I actually need to put myself in a situation where it’s difficult to not focus on that thing.”
He continued: “Some of the folks I work with at the company — they say this lovingly — but I think that they sometimes refer to my attention as the Eye of Sauron. You have this unending amount of energy to go work on something, and if you point that at any given team, you will just burn them.”
For those who haven’t travelled to Middle-earth in a couple of Ages, the Eye of Sauron is a manifestation of the titular Lord of the Rings. Without delving too deeply into fantasy lore, it is canonically nefarious, and bad things happen when it notices you. Zuckerberg’s computer nerd demeanor doesn’t quite scream “Dark Lord” to us, but we don’t deny that Meta employees would compare his semi-autocratic mode of operation to that of the Eye. Either way, we’re not so sure that’s a compliment, Mark. See Zuck’s full interview with Tim Ferriss below, with the relevant section beginning around 20:10.
Speaking of malevolent campaigns, Facebook recently hired a GOP firm to launch a prolonged smear attack on TikTok. This act of corporate vindictiveness escalated after Facebook lost users for the first time ever. In slightly less distressing news, the company blocked access in Russia last month in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.