Hours before “60 Minutes” broadcast an interview on Sunday with a whistle-blower who has roiled Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, posted a video online.
The 38-second clip featured him and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, sailing. The footage, which was taken with new Facebook glasses that can record video, made no reference to the weekslong scandal that has engulfed the company after the whistle-blower leaked documents showing that the social network had studied and understood the harmful effects of its products.
Since The Wall Street Journal started publishing articles based on that leaked information last month, Mr. Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, have said nothing publicly about the revelations. Instead, Facebook’s responses have featured Nick Clegg, the vice president of global affairs, and Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, among others.
That has led lawmakers and others to question: Where are Facebook’s top two leaders?
Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg are deliberately avoiding public comment on the leaked documents, people with knowledge of the matter previously told The New York Times. That way, the executives can avoid negative press and appear to be above the fray, they said.
For months, Facebook has had an internal plan to separate Mr. Zuckerberg from the company’s crises. Instead, his public communications and posts have been focused on product announcements and his plans for the “metaverse,” where people maintain some sense of continuity through all the different digital worlds they inhabit.
Ms. Sandberg, too, has focused on other topics in her public communications. She recently added a post about small businesses in the United Arab Emirates to her Facebook page.
Mr. Zuckerberg deviated from that strategy only recently.
On Monday, he posted about a worldwide outage of the social network and its apps, which lasted more than five hours. “Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about,” he wrote.