Today, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg testified before a joint session of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees. The topic of discussion was the Democrats’ tired refrain on the 2016 election: that Donald Trump’s campaign somehow manipulated the platform to defeat Hillary Clinton.
Democrats, the media, and the Washington swamp can’t accept Hillary’s humiliating defeat, so they needed a scapegoat. That’s where Zuckerberg comes in. Because the Trump campaign used the platform effectively, and because a handful of Russians spent a piddling amount on ads, a worldwide crisis was fabricated.
In all, 44 senators gathered to grill Zuckerberg like a fillet.
Protesters dotted the crowd, as you can see in the background in some of the video clips from the testimony. A swarm of protesters gathered outside Capitol Hill as well:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 10, 2018
Here are the five dumbest thing heard during Zuckerberg’s testimony.
1. “If we don’t rein in the misuse of social media, none of us are going to have any privacy anymore.” Senator Bill Nelson of Florida said this during his prepared remarks. This is just plain dumb. If you don’t want your private information compromised, don’t create a Facebook account. Or get on social media. It’s as easy as that.
2. Senator Bill Nelson indicates, after saying he gets ads for chocolate he likes on Facebook, that he doesn’t want to receive ads for personal things he shares over the social platform. Well, guess what, Senator Nelson, if you don’t want advertisers to have access to personal information, don’t share it on Facebook! There are a myriad of ways to communicate with friends, including email and phone. Why share it just on Facebook?
Sen Nelson is pushing @Facebook CEO about having to pay to not see ads. ““I used the harmless example of chocolate, but if it got into more personal things … and I want to cut it off, I’d have to pay you?” Zuck says yes but notes doesn’t offer such an option today
— Shara Tibken (@sharatibken) April 10, 2018
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3. Senator Hatch, the longest-serving Republican senator, asked Zuckerberg how exactly Facebook keeps its platform free for users. “We run ads,” Zuckerberg replied laconically. This was a very bizarre exchange. Not only did Hatch say Facebook runs ads to stay profitable just moments before he asked his question, but Zuckerberg’s answer is equally obtuse. “Free” doesn’t mean what Zuckerberg implies. Nothing is free in life. Zuckerberg sells access to data shared on Facebook to finance the ability of anybody to create a Facebook profile. Overall, it was an exchange devoid of any relevant information. A stupid waste, in other words.
“There will always be a version of Facebook that is free,” #Zuckerberg says.
How do you sustain a business model when people don’t pay for services? @OrrinHatch asks.
— Kristy Gillentine (@KrisGillentine) April 10, 2018
4. Senator Dick Durbin tries to corner Zuckerberg by asking if he’d disclose what hotel he stayed at last night:
WATCH: Sen. Dick Durbin asks Mark Zuckerberg if he’d be comfortable sharing the name of the hotel he stayed in last night pic.twitter.com/q8qMMhIMlr
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) April 10, 2018
This is stupid beyond belief. People voluntarily share if they’re staying at a hotel. They aren’t forced to reveal their location over Facebook. If you don’t want to share where you are staying, you don’t have to. Durbin’s question is pointless.
5. Senator Lindsey Graham asks Zuckerberg if Facebook and Twitter are synonymous.
Lindsey Graham, given chance to ask Facebook CEO anything:
“Is Twitter the same as what you do?”
— Alastair Gee (@alastairgee) April 10, 2018
Good Lord in heaven. Who elected this guy?
If you want to know who “won” the debate today, take a look at Facebook’s shares during Zuckerberg’s testimony:
— Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) April 10, 2018
To be clear, Facebook has been accused of some troubling things, which if true, should be held to the account of the law. They have been caught using bias in the delivery and censorship of information. That’s deeply disturbing, especially for conservatives. But that’s a separate issue at the moment. Why is Congress suddenly concerned about this now? This is the same Congress whose NSA spies on every Americans’ communications. They don’t give a hoot about our privacy or our data.
What’s really missing in this whole discussion is responsibility. If you don’t want your secrets shared, don’t share them! If you don’t want people to know where you’ve been, don’t tell them. This concept isn’t difficult. Time was, people kept things to themselves. Nowadays, everyone is a special snowflake who has to feel special for every little thing they do.
Do strangers need to know where you took little Jimmy for his soccer game? Where you work out? If you don’t want people to know, don’t share it!
What do you think about Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress? Tell us your thoughts below!
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