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Cramer: Facebook's Zuckerberg and Sandberg can't be trusted to handle data leak fallout

  • Facebook's top executives can't be trusted to handle the social media company's data leak fallout, CNBC's Jim Cramer says.
  • Cramer previously said it may be time for the social network to hire an "internal special prosecutor" to get to the bottom of its data scandal.

Facebook's top executives have lost public trust to handle the social media company's data leak fallout, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Thursday.

"If we trusted [Mark Zuckerberg], we wouldn't need to speak with him," said Cramer, whose charitable trust owns shares of Facebook. CEO Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and Facebook's board "have to recognize that they're nobody" now, Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street."

Facebook's stock, which had lost nearly $46 billion in market value between Friday's and Wednesday's closings, was down more than 1 percent on Thursday. On Wednesday night, Zuckerberg apologized in a CNN interview for the scandal, calling it a major breach of trust. He added that he's "open" to testifying before members of Congress and to having government regulation of social media.

Cramer said Wednesday it may be time for the social network to hire an "internal special prosecutor" to get to the bottom of its data scandal.

The "Mad Money" host also called out Zuckerberg and Sandberg for being notably silent days after weekend reports that Cambridge Analytica had harvested the data from more than 50 million users of the social network without their permission. The data were used to target ads promoting Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, according to The New York Times' and The Observer's weekend stories.

In an interview Wednesday with the Times, Zuckerberg said he kept quiet because "I really wanted to make sure we had a full and accurate understanding of everything that happened."

Some have called for a boycott of Facebook. On Wednesday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch reduced its price target for the stock, citing the rising negative sentiment.

However, Cramer said Thursday that much of the outrage could blow over soon. People could get bored of protesting Facebook "and want to see how their friends are doing," Cramer said.

"The American people, including those who trade stocks, will get tired of the story," he added.

In a statement, Sue Desmond-Hellmann, lead director of Facebook's board, said: "Mark and Sheryl know how serious this situation is and are working with the rest of Facebook leadership to build stronger user protections. They have built the company and our business and are instrumental to its future."

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