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Report: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Asked Comms Team to Research George Soros

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg reportedly asked communications staff to look into billionaire George Soros’ financial interests days after he called the social network a “menace” in a speech at the World Economic Forum. Citing sources familiar with the matter, The New York Times reports Sandberg sent an email to “senior communications and policy executives” in January, asking them to “examine why [Soros] had criticized” Facebook and “whether he stood to gain financially from the attacks.” In a statement to the Times, Facebook said the communications team had already begun researching Soros by the time Sandberg made her request. “Mr. Soros is a prominent investor and we looked into his investments and trading activity related to Facebook,” the company reportedly said. “That research was already underway when Sheryl sent an email asking if Mr. Soros had shorted Facebook’s stock.” The news comes after the social-media giant came under fire for commissioning a GOP-linked opposition research firm to link Soros to the anti-Facebook movement. Sandberg initially denied any knowledge of Facebook’s decision to hire the research firm, Definers Public Affairs, but later admitted that the firm’s work for Facebook had “crossed her desk.”