Mark Zuckerberg has survived hours of questioning from members of Congress. And if there's one takeaway from the whole thing, it's that US lawmakers seem to know very little about how the internet works.
The hearings were to be a crucial moment for Facebook, a social network that is facing intense scrutiny due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook's CEO had to travel to Washington, DC this week and face Congress, as well as its billions of users across the world via a live stream. It was described as something that could make or break the company, but in reality, Zuckerberg fielded softball questions.
Much of the first hearing on 10 April was taken up with Zuckerberg explaining the internet to older (and apparently out-of-touch) senators and representatives who asked oblivious questions, resulting in ridiculous, almost cringeworthy moments. See for yourself, below.
- What is Facebook Stories and how does it work?
- What is Facebook Live and how does it work?
- What is Facebook Marketplace and how does it work?
We've also included information at the bottom about why Zuckerberg is in DC and how to watch the hearings yourself.
Ridiculous moments from the hearings
"We run ads."
Hatch: "How do you sustain a business model in which users don't pay for your service?"— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) April 10, 2018
Zuckerberg: "Senator, we run ads" *smiles*
Hatch: "I see. That's great." https://t.co/1PQ3joAtC8
"FaceMash was a prank."
.@USRepLong: "What was FaceMash and is it still up and running?"— Dan Linden (@DanLinden) April 11, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg: “No Congressman, FaceMash was a prank website that I launched in college, in my dorm room, before I started Facebook." pic.twitter.com/W1KK99ljrF
"Is that Diamond and Silk?"
Billy Long: "Do you recognize these folks?"— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) April 11, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg: "I do."
Long: "Who are they?"
Zuckerberg: "I believe — is that Diamond & Silk?" pic.twitter.com/TVxALG4Rgd
"Um. Uh... No."
This takeaway from the Mark Zuckerberg hearing gets to the heart of the issue: how do we use Facebook and the internet without seeing an invasion of our personal privacy? pic.twitter.com/pEfzyAqnez— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 11, 2018
"You're supposed to answer 'Yes'."
Senator Sullivan: From dorm room to global behemoth! Only in #America right?#Zuckerberg: Well...There are some good #Chineseinternet companies.— Yicai Global 第一财经 (@yicaichina) April 11, 2018
Sullivan: “You’re supposed to answer yes to this question."@AlibabaGroup @Baidu_Inc #tencent pic.twitter.com/aErMxvamiF
"I'm not sure what that means."
‘You’re collecting medical data on people that are on the internet whether they’re Facebook users or not, right?’— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) April 11, 2018
‘Yes, we collect some data for security purposes.’@USRepKCastor questions Mark Zuckerberg pic.twitter.com/40M1rd2Dc7
Mark Zuckerberg side-stepped a question about Facebook tracking users even after they log off pic.twitter.com/FeRjSm0lgE— NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 10, 2018
Smh. We'll just leave you with this:
"don't forget to drink the water, humans like water" pic.twitter.com/RyhWE74Sl4— ＲＵＩＮ™ (@BravingRuin) April 10, 2018
How many hearings are scheduled?
There are two hearings. See below for more details.
- Hearing: Senate Judiciary Committee and Commerce Committee (joint)
- Date: Tuesday, 10 April 2018
- Time: 2:15 pm EST
- Online stream: Watch live on CBSN
- Hearing: House Energy and Commerce Committee
- Date: Wednesday, 11 April 2018
- Time: 10am EST
- Online stream: Watch live on CBSN
Why is Mark Zuckerberg in DC?
Check out Pocket-lint's coverage for all the details:
- Mark Zuckerberg suggests Facebook won't always be free
- Facebook sends warning message to users affected by scandal
- Facebook will add ‘unsend’ feature since it deleted Zuckerberg’s messages
- Facebook scandal: Anybody could have had their profile scraped
- Protect your data: How to remove multiple apps at once on Facebook
- Facebook has recorded everything you’ve ever done on the site
- Cambridge Analytica scandal: Mark Zuckerberg breaks silence
- How to permanently delete Facebook but keep your photos and more
- Cambridge Analytica scandal: What you need to know