Having already acknowledged that it did opposition research on George Soros, Facebook says No. 2 executive Sheryl Sandberg had asked staff if the billionaire philanthropist had financial motivations against the company.

Friday’s statement is in response to a New York Times article that describes Sandberg asking Facebook staff to look into Soros’ financial interests in speaking out against the company in January. Facebook said the company was already researching Soros when Sandberg sent an email asking if Soros had shorted Facebook stock. Shorting a stock is essentially taking a bet it will decline.

Soros’s Open Society Foundations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

FILE- In this May 29, 2018, file photo George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundations listens to the conference after his speech entitled
FILE- In this May 29, 2018, file photo George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundations listens to the conference after his speech entitled “How to save the European Union” as he attends the European Council On Foreign Relations Annual Council Meeting in Paris. Having already acknowledged that it did opposition research on Soros, Facebook says No. 2 executive Sheryl Sandberg had asked staff if the billionaire philanthropist had financial motivations against the company. The Friday, Nov. 30, statement is in response a New York Times article that describes Sandberg asking Facebook staff to look into Soros’ financial interests in speaking out against the company in January. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

In a Thanksgiving eve post, outgoing executive Elliot Schrage took the blame for hiring the public relations firm doing opposition research on critics.

Sandberg followed Schrage’s note of contrition with one of her own, acknowledging her responsibility for overseeing Facebook’s communications team. She said of the firm, Definers, that “some of their work was incorporated into materials presented to me and I received a small number of emails where Definers was referenced.”

Source: The Associated Press