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Cramer: Mark Zuckerberg may have just saved Facebook from a government crackdown

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did a "masterful" job discussing the impact of Russia's election meddling during the company's post-earnings conference call, CNBC's Jim Cramer says.
  • "I thought this was a masterful conference call," Cramer says. "It's a brilliant narrative."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did a "masterful" job discussing the impact of Russia's election meddling during the company's post-earnings conference call, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Thursday.

During the call Wednesday, the Facebook chief said the company plans to boost spending to police content, adding he is "dead serious" about preventing abuse on its platform.

That came after Facebook told lawmakers this week that Russia-based operatives published about 80,000 posts on the social network over a two-year period in an effort to sway U.S. politics.

"I've directed our teams to invest so much in security, on top of the other investments that we're making, that it will significantly impact our profitability going forward," Zuckerberg told investors during the call. "And I wanted our investors to hear that directly from me."

"I thought this was a masterful conference call," said Cramer, whose charitable trust owns shares of Facebook. "Why? Because he is basically heading off any possibility that they'll be a billion dollar fine [or] Justice Department investigation."

Protecting the Facebook community is more important than "maximizing our profits," Zuckerberg said on the call.

"It's a brilliant narrative," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street." "Because what most people had been afraid of what that he was going to say he was going to boost security, but it would have no impact on earnings."

That would "make it absolutely chimerical," Cramer said. "It would make it so it is just a show."

Facebook reported third-quarter profit and sales on Wednesday that beat Wall Street's expectations. The company said later on a conference call that 2018 expenses would rise 45 percent to 60 percent. The stock was down 2.1 percent midmorning Thursday.

— Reuters contributed to this report.

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