Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

 

1DD6CBA8-1E65-401C-A67D-0EEA76969F85For starters, he look was alien.   Instead of the solid-colored tee shirts and/or hoodies he always wears,  he wore a blue suit….for hours….in front of real,  by God, AARP membered adults,  some technically savvy, others not so much.

He was grilled on a bi-partisan cook top.    And he was for the most part knowledgeable, eloquent, and quite courteous.  He never began a sentence without referencing titular importance:   Senator This, Senator That.   And why not?    He has 63.9 billion reasons to come out of this smelling like a 🌹.

But I think he was tossed softballs.    With the exception of Ted Cruz (R-Texas) who expressed a wide swath of concerns that Facebook has censored conservative accounts and content.   Ask Diamond and Silk!!!    Facebook barred (but has since reinstated) the vocal Trump supporting duo from the platform after deeming their support of the president  “unsafe to the community.”

Zuckerberg kind of implied yes, but generally speaking, this isn’t the case.  He called Facebook as a “platform for all ideas.”   But he also couldn’t deny perceptions created by geography.    Facebook’s HQ is smack dab in the middle of the Uber liberal Silicon Valley.

By the way, Palmer Luckey, was a Facebook employee who left the company after it was revealed supported of a conservative group that produced anti-Hillary Clinton memes.

But the ‘big deal on Capital heel” was about user privacy and Senator Dick Durbin made the matter up close for all and for Zuckerberg, extremely personal.

Yeah, well Marky Mark, the FB  victims of data harvester, Cambridge Analytical didn’t have a say about their personal info though, did they?      So, then did Facebook practice to deceive?

Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California, zeroed in on that, asking Zuckerberg about the company’s decision not to inform users about the Cambridge Analytica episode when they learned in 2015 that data was sold by a researcher to the political consulting firm.

 Zuckerberg said  the company didn’t explicitly decide to withhold that information from consumers, but admitted Iitbmade a huge mistake in not doing so.

You see, in 2011: the Federal Trade Commission began investigating Facebook for violating consent decree. If the company withheld information, which would be a deceptive act, the company could face record fines for violating its promises to the agency.

Zuckerberg knows this.  He knows all that’s at stake,   So, he attempted to answer every question, perhaps not to the satisfaction of everyone, but he said he was open to privacy regulation, but looked a little like a well….”like a scared kid” as Senator John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana laid this on him.

What’s the net result of all this, I think?  Federal regulations on a company that was never regulated. I don’t think Zuckerberg will step aside.  He’s a lifer.   He leaves if he so chooses and that’s that,  but I’ll bet tonight he’s nursing the worst case of stress induced diarrhea….ever.

I leave you with this:  Zuckerberg has been the Facebook CEO since its inception.   He’s ridden an amazing crest of success for a wide-eyed, idealistic collegian.   Obviously, he isn’t stupid and just politically savvy enough, but even with all his techno-brilliance, his ambition, success and billions, his handlers insisted he sit before Congress……in what amounts to a booster chair.

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Zuckerberg is set to plead Facebook’s case once again tomorrow.

Two words of wisdom for the second day of testimony:  asbestos undies.