Everyone Is Dunking on Mark Zuckerberg About His Facebook Congressional Hearing
Who would have guessed that a guy who dipped his feet in violating people’s privacy for a Hot or Not knockoff in college and faced a disciplinary hearing for it at the time—despite how much he’d like to pretend it’s not at all related—would wind up answering for the same lack of (or willful ignorance of) foresight in front of the United States Congress, on the much larger scale of a global userbase?
Yes, I’m talking about Mark Zuckerberg, who has now completed day 2 of a Congressional hearing about the havoc wreaked by Facebook controlling how a large portion of the world experiences the internet, among other things. (Watch day one here and day two here.) Facebook has long drawn the ire of the internet, first in general jokes about people’s behavior on social media in the early years, and then, as they company’s power expanded, on through criticism of their stranglehold over what many people are exposed to on the internet, user data policies, hidden psychological experiments, and eventual part in the dissemination of disinformation that led to the election of Donald Trump—including selling ads to Russian entities interested in sowing discord among U.S. citizens.
So, Zuckerberg headed to Capitol Hill to personally represent his company amid public outcry over Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data, ostensibly to take responsibility and work for change. Although, he’s been apologizing for this kind of thing for over a decade with no end in sight—it really just seems to get worse—and he keeps telling Congress that his “team” will have to get back to them on subjects that become uncomfortable. And as he has sat there answering questions, everyone else has been venting their frustrations.
That face when you just wanted a faster way to rank girls by looks and ended up installing a fascist government in the most powerful country on earth pic.twitter.com/VEaQjz9Z6s
— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) April 10, 2018
“You don’t think you have a monopoly?” pic.twitter.com/cClSXSoauc
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) April 10, 2018
Zuckerberg was asked to name Facebook’s top—or any—competitor, and he struggled to do so, because there really isn’t one. Everyone was longing for the days of MySpace, even though Facebook’s reach now extends there in some form, as well.
Meanwhile, Tom from MySpace is testifying about the specials in front of a family at Ruby Tuesdays. #ZuckerbergTestimony
— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) April 10, 2018
These always make me laugh as Tom from MySpace is worth like $70 million. I hope to be that spectacular of a failure. https://t.co/VFzyAxWKPb
— Dane Rauschenberg (@SeeDaneRun) April 11, 2018
tfw you aren’t being grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee pic.twitter.com/0gbOmDtJq8
— Jeffrey Young (@JeffYoung) April 10, 2018
When you realize Facebook is about to become MySpace … pic.twitter.com/YPbECHhVmr
— Steven R. Walker (@Steve_R_Walker) April 10, 2018
Holly crap! MySpace is trending. pic.twitter.com/MjC3CR2boL
— V. M. Clark (@VMClark0516) April 11, 2018
He also got a lot of attention for the seat cushion he was propped up on, given that it really seemed like a decision driven by optics that may have backfired a little.
Mark Zuckerberg in a booster seat looks like he’s about to ask the waitress for chicken fingers and apple juice pic.twitter.com/oGA6RkGE4S
— Jules (@Julian_Epp) April 11, 2018
He also left his notes open on the table where anyone could see them, which might not have been the best choice with all those cameras around—especially when everyone’s mad at you over data privacy.
anyway, here’s zuckerberg’s arrival set to the radiohead cover from “the social network” trailer pic.twitter.com/wsuA8GaVFY
— David Mack (@davidmackau) April 10, 2018
um it actually was the uh winklevoss twins who came up with the facebook, not me ha ha pic.twitter.com/7HaHr962e7
— 27_male_nyc (@25_male_nyc) April 10, 2018
Twitch’s live stream of the event featured its own roast of Zuckerberg, but he wasn’t the only target of mockery at the hearing. Those doing the questioning were also easy marks, many of them having received donations from Facebook, and also not exactly being tech experts themselves.
“Mr. Zuckerberg, I recently took a test on your site that said my Saved By The Bell character was Screech. I ask you, sir, do you feel I am Screech?” pic.twitter.com/zg6SDQcOhL
— McNeil (@Reflog_18) April 10, 2018
How many senators would have noticed if Mark Zuckerberg had sent Jesse Eisenberg in his place? Less than half, right?
— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) April 10, 2018
I’d bet a large amount of money that the extent of at least one of these senators’ research for this hearing was just watching The Social Network last night and casually scrolling Facebook this morning.
— Bradford Pearson (@BradfordPearson) April 10, 2018
Being yelled at for hours by a bunch of old skeletons who do not understand “the computer” is not quite the hell Zuckerberg deserves, but it’s a suburb of it for sure
— Waikiki Wanda (@bulkUSBchargers) April 10, 2018
senator: my aides have given me this complex multi-part question to read to you in a halting and uncertain voice
zuckerberg: oh no don’t worry about that, our new motto is ‘we fixed it’
senator: that sounds wrong but i don’t know what to ask
— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) April 10, 2018
“Mr. Zuckerberg, a magazine i recently opened came with a floppy disk offering me 30 free hours of something called America On-Line. Is that the same as Facebook?” pic.twitter.com/U7pqpUhEhQ
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) April 10, 2018
That’s not to say there weren’t smart lawmakers or informed questions there, but it was hard not to get the feeling that our future is more in Zuckerberg’s hands than it is theirs, thanks to their colleagues’ understanding of what’s going on. That’s scary, considering how important all of this ultimately is, as absurd as that seems.
The Zuckerberg hearings aren’t simply about the Cambridge Analytica leak, or even Facebook’s role in the world’s elections. These hearings are about a more profound question: Is Facebook too powerful? https://t.co/RXbt6SdIe1
— WIRED (@WIRED) April 11, 2018
(image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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