Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before US Congress
Mark Zuckerberg left his notes open during Senate hearing break
Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook testified before the Congress in a marathon five-hour session about Cambridge Analytica scandal. Zuckerberg left his notes open during a break of his hearing which allowed an Associated Press photographer to snap pictures of it.
Before the hearing took place, Zuckerberg wrote on his page: In an hour I’m going to testify in front of the Senate about how Facebook needs to take a broader view of our responsibility — not just to build tools, but to make sure those tools are used for good. I will do everything I can to make Facebook a place where everyone can stay closer with the people they care about, and to make sure it’s a positive force in the world.
Mark Zuckerberg highlights from Congress hearing:
- Chairman of US Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation, John Thune said “’In the past, many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have been willing to defer to tech companies’ efforts to regulate themselves. But this may be changing.”
- Mark Zuckerberg in his opening address said: “It’s clear we didn’t ‘take a broad enough view of our responsibility, my responsibility and I am Sorry.” It’s not enough to just connect people, it’s important to make it a positive force added Zuckerberg.
- Mark Zuckerberg highlights positives and admits and takes responsibility for failing to prevent the use of Facebook for circulation and menace of fake news.
- Speaking on Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Zuckerberg said “We are getting to the bottom of what Cambridge Analytica did, the company accessed information illegally,” says Zuckerberg. To prevent it from happening again, we are making changes that app developers don’t get more private information, adds Zuckerberg.
- Speaking on a model if Facebook without Ads is possible, Zuckerberg said there is no such model in his mind right now and such a model will limit access to all the people who are using it now.
- Zuckerberg said Facebook will soon have 14,000 people working on content policies. He further explains how difficult it is in identifying hate speeches because of linguistic issues. He also explains how most of IS content is filtered by AI tools.
- Speaking on Russian involvement, Zuckerberg said it was of his biggest regrets for being slow in identifying Russian operations. Further, he said 2014 was an important year for elections, especially in India. Talking about Indian elections company wants to protect the integrity of the process and they have deleted thousands of such accounts which could exploit internet systems and affect elections. Since then they have developed new and better tools to monitor Facebook. Further, he said one of his biggest regrets was to be slow in identifying on how fake accounts and research agencies interfered during the US Presidential elections of 2016.
- Facebook working with Special Counsel Robert Mueller – Zuckerberg said so far people from Facebook have been interviewed by Robert Mueller and not him. Robert Mueller is the head of the team leading an investigation of alleged collusion between Trump campaign and Russia.
- On Facebook collecting data from minors, Zuckerberg said he is not aware if Facebook collects phone logs of people aged 13 to 17.
- Zuckerberg on hate speech – Senator Leahy asked Zuckerberg on posts for the death of a Muslim journalist in Myanmar which was not immediately removed from Facebook. Leahy further asked How can you dedicate and will you dedicate resources to make sure such hate speech is taken down in 24 hours? Zuckerberg replied Facebook is doing three things to work on this: 1. Hiring more Burmese language content filters. 2. Working with civil society in Myanmar to identity hate figures to remove accounts. 3. Setting up a team to make product changes in Myanmar and other countries to prevent this from happening.
- Is Cambridge Analytica data being stored in Russia? – Mark Zuckerberg says he has no specific knowledge that Cambridge Analytica data is being stored in Russia. Earlier in his defence, Zuckerberg had said that Cambridge Analytica had illegally accessed private data of millions of users through a third-party app.
These were some of the key highlights from the Congress hearing. Everything that he spoke seems to be reassuring for the people as Facebook stock price increased. You can watch the entire hearing in the below video.
Mark Zuckerberg pic source: Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP/REX/Shutterstock