Facebook's PR Crisis

10:00 AM -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing criticism -- and even calls to step down -- after having what MarketWatch called a "Richard Nixon moment," during an interview at the AllThingsD conference on Wednesday.

While being (politely) grilled on the latest privacy issues by Boomtown blogger Kara Swisher and The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, Zuckerberg rambled, squirmed, sweated bullets, and fiddled with his hoodie. Video of part of the interview is here, and a live blog of the interview is here.

Though the interview didn't contain many clear answers, Zuck offered a ready apology when asked about rumors that he behaved irresponsibly and immaturely regarding users' data when Facebook was in its early days.

"When I was 18 or 19 years old, I did a lot of stupid things. I don't want to make an excuse for that. I'm really sorry that I did them," he said.

But apparently Facebook's bad PR has sunk to a level that association with the site is now fodder for political attack ads. Kamala Harris, Democratic candidate for Los Angeles attorney general, released an ad (below) attacking her opponent -- and former Facebook privacy chief -- Chris Kelly for his involvement in designing the Facebook privacy policy, which has been "condemned across the country." Then, just to drive the point home, the ad says: "CHRIS KELLY RELEASED YOUR PRIVATE INFORMATION."

Of course not even Kelly wants to claim association with Facebook's privacy policy at this point. In an email to MoveOn.org, also posted (naturally) on Facebook, Kelly said he was "troubled" by some of Facebook's latest privacy moves.

— Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Light Reading Cable

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