Five interesting moments from Mark Zuckerberg's grilling in Congress

11 April 2018 - 13:02 By TimesLIVE
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees joint hearing regarding the company’s use and protection of user data, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, April 10, 2018.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees joint hearing regarding the company’s use and protection of user data, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, April 10, 2018.
Image: REUTERS/Leah Millis

Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by US Congress on Tuesday about Facebook's data leak scandal. Here are five interesting points from his Senate appearance:

1. Zuckerberg reveals notes

While admitting that he has failed to protect the personal information of Facebook users, Zuckerberg couldn't protect his own notes at the hearing. 

He left them open during a break in the hearing, allowing a photographer to take a picture of the talking points. 

The notes included some interesting points Zuckerberg didn't get to address during the hearing. These included his response to potential calls for him to resign as Facebook chief executive officer (CEO) and what compensation Facebook could offer if asked to pay a fine. 

2. Privacy (especially his own) is important to Zuckerberg

Although his notes might have been revealed, Facebook's founder refused to give any other information about himself. Zuckerberg's most uncomfortable moment at the hearing was when Senator Dick Durbin asked where he had slept the night before.  

"Would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?" Durbin asked.

"Um, uh, no," Zuckerberg replied.

3. Practice makes perfect

NBC’s Savannah Guthrie reported that Zuckerberg took part in four mock hearings in preparation for his appearance before the US congress.

The New York Times reports that Facebook hired a team of experts, including a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, to train Zuckerberg on appearing humble and calm under pressure. 

According to Gizmodo, Zuckerberg also placed a cushion on his seat so he would appear big and tall for the cameras.

One person on Twitter even asked if it was a billionaire's booster seat.

4. Arms race with Russia

Zuckerberg insisted his company is constantly in an arms race with Russian operators.

“There are people in Russia whose job it is to try to exploit our systems and other internet systems and other systems as well.

“This is an ongoing arms race. As long as there are people sitting in Russia whose job is it to try to interfere in elections around the world, this is going to be an ongoing conflict,” he said.

The BBC reported that Zuckerberg also revealed Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, had interviewed Facebook staff.

5. Is Facebook considering a paid version?

The CEO admitted Facebook stores personal data but denied that the company sells that data to advertisers. Zuckerberg said the company relies on advertising to fund Facebook. CNBC reported that after senators asked Zuckerberg whether he would consider a paid, ad-free version of Facebook, the billionaire said it was worth thinking about.

As Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg fended off questions from U.S. senators about privacy, alleged interference in elections and hate speech, his company's shares rose to their highest lev...


READ MORE: 

X