Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg answered a question Wednesday afternoon that’s been a hot topic of debate in recent days: Will Facebook a company that wields extraordinary influence in the media world keep someone on its board of directors who has personally funded a legal fight seen by many as an effort to destroy a media company? The answer, Sandberg said in an onstage chat at a technology conference Wednesday, is yes. Speaking at Recode’s Code Conference in Los Angeles, Sandberg responded to questions from tech journalist Kara Swisher and a member of the audience, saying that her fellow Facebook director, billionaire Peter Thiel, will remain on the board. The question followed the revelation last week that Thiel helped fund a lawsuit against Gawker Media involving a Hulk Hogan sex tape after negative coverage he’d received from the gossip site. “I know this has been actively discussed here and it should be actively discussed, because issues of independence and the media are key to democracy and key to all of us,” she said. “Peter did what he did on his own, not as a Facebook board member. We didn’t know about it.”
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