Facebook admits it 'made mistakes' after top exec appeared at Kavanaugh hearing

  • Joel Kaplan, the head of global policy at Facebook and a long-time friend of Judge Kavanaugh sat two rows behind the nominee as he testified regarding allegations that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford while in high school.
  • Facebook said the "leadership team recognizes that they've made mistakes handling the events of the last week."
  • Media reports suggested that employees were outraged that Kaplan appeared to support Judge Kavanaugh.
Facebook policy head Joel Kaplan (circled) listens to testimony of Brett Kavanaugh before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. 
REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Facebook policy head Joel Kaplan (circled) listens to testimony of Brett Kavanaugh before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. 

Facebook has admitted it "made mistakes" after a top executive was seen attending Judge Brett Kavanaugh's congressional hearing, reportedly prompting outrage from employees.

Joel Kaplan, the head of global policy at Facebook and a long-time friend of Judge Kavanaugh sat two rows behind the nominee as he testified regarding allegations that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford while in high school.

Employees saw it as a sign that Kaplan was supporting Judge Kavanaugh and employees raised concerns with CEO Mark Zuckerberg during his weekly question-and-answer session last Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"Sexual assault is an issue society has turned a blind eye to for far too long — compounding every victim's pain. Our leadership team recognizes that they've made mistakes handling the events of the last week and we're grateful for all the feedback from our employees," Facebook told CNBC in a statement on Thursday.

The WSJ reported that a town hall meeting is scheduled with Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg to address the issues.

Facebook has been wrapped up in political controversies for some time and has been accused of not doing enough to fight misinformation on its platform, particularly around elections.

- CNBC's Carmin Chappell contributed to this report.

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