Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony today on Capitol Hill just ended.
He testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee for nearly five hours. It was his second and final hearing this week in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, bringing the once press shy CEO’s total time testifying on Capitol Hill to about ten hours.
During the testimony, lawmakers pressed Zuckerberg on drugs sales on Facebook, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, censoring conservative voices and self-regulation.
But he faltered somewhat Wednesday when pressed by Rep. Frank Pallone, a Democrat from New Jersey, for a “yes” or “no” answer on whether Facebook would commit to changing its default settings to minimize data collection “to the greatest extent possible.”
“This is a complex issue that deserves more than a one word answer,” Zuckerberg said. Pallone called the response “disappointing.”
Rep. Kathy Castor pressed Zuckerberg hard on whether and how Facebook tracks users after they are off the platform.
Rep. Ben Luján got Zuckerberg to admit that Facebook goes so far as to collect data from some people who have not signed up for the social network “for security purposes.”
Multiple legislators also raised the prospect that Facebook’s data policies with third-party apps violated a 2011 agreement with the Federal Trade Commission after a prior privacy complaint. If so, Facebook could be subject to hefty fines. The FTC confirmed last month that it’s investigating Facebook.
We also learned:
— Zuckerberg’s personal data was sold to “malicious third parties.”
— He thinks his industry probably needs to be regulated.
— Zuckerberg says an “enforcement error” is to blame for conservative sisters “Diamond and Silk” being told their Facebook content was “unsafe.”
Other news that happened during the hearing:
— The acting CEO of Cambridge Analytica, the data firm at the center of the Facebook privacy scandal, stepped down.
— Facebook shares dipped slightly during Zuckerberg’s testimony after rising the day before.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told lawmakers today that his company has a counterterrorism team.
The team is comprised of 200 people, who he said are just focused on counterterrorism. Zuckerberg said content reviewers also go over flagged information.
“I think we have capacity in 30 languages that we are working on and in addition to that, we have a number of AI tools that we are developing like the one’s that I mentioned that can proactively go flag the content,” he said in response to a question from Rep. Susan Brooks of Indiana.
She asked Zuckerberg how the team stops terrorist groups from recruiting and communicating.
He said the team first identifies those groups’ patterns of communicating. They then design systems that proactively flag the messaging, so those accounts could be removed.
The company outlined its counterterrorism approach in 2017 in a blog post, where it said that the team included “academic experts on counterterrorism, former prosecutors, former law enforcement agents and analysts, and engineers.”
On Monday, the social media giant began rolling out a “see how you’re affected” tool at the top of News Feeds to inform users if they’re among the tens of millions of people who had their data improperly harvested by Cambridge Analytica. Click here to try the tool yourself.
“What was FaceMash and is it still up and running?” Long asked Zuckerberg, prompting the CEO to flash a slight smile.
“FaceMash was a prank website that I launched in college, in my dorm room, before I started Facebook,” Zuckerberg said, adding that FaceMash had “nothing to do with Facebook,” despite that it was created around the same time.
No. If an account was deleted, Facebook cannot verify whether that data was accessed by Cambridge Analytica, according to the social network.
“America is in the midst of one of the worst epidemics that it’s ever experienced with this drug epidemic. It’s all across this country but you’re platform is still being used to circumvent the law and allow people to buy highly addictive drugs without a prescription. With all due respect, Facebook is actually enabling an illegal activity and in so doing, you are hurting people.”
McKinley asked, “When are you going to take down these posts?”
Zuckerberg responded that it was near-impossible to find these posts amongst the billion other pieces of content posted to the platform, but he was focused on building “AI tools” that could help stop them from propagating.
What CNN found
A quick search done by CNN last week turned up plenty of Instagram accounts filled with pictures of various pills.
They typically list contact details — email addresses, phone numbers, and usernames for chat apps and encrypted messenger services like Kik and Wickr — to connect off of Instagram. Put two and two together, and these are likely drug dealers, illicit online pharmacies, or scammers.
Later, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, quietly took some action to crack down on drug-related posts. A search for #Oxycontin on the app on Friday morning turned up zero posts.
In a statement, an Instagram spokesperson told CNN its community guidelines “make it clear that buying or selling prescription drugs isn’t allowed on Instagram, and we have zero tolerance when it comes to content that puts the safety of our community at risk.”
Here’s the statement the company just sent out:
“The Board has announced today that Dr Alexander Tayler has stepped down as acting CEO of Cambridge Analytica and will resume his former position as Chief Data Officer in order to focus on the various technical investigations and inquiries. We would like to thank Dr Tayler for his service in what has been a challenging time for the company.”
Facebook shares gave back some of their gains on Wednesday while Zuckerberg was fielding questions from House members.
The stock was down 0.2%, following a 4.5% surge Tuesday — the stock’s best day since 2016.
Shares of other social media companies were mixed. Snap was up nearly 3%. Twitter fell 2.5%. YouTube owner Google was down more than 1%. LinkedIn parent Microsoft was flat.
Mark Zuckerberg was pressed by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California, on whether his own personal data was included in the data sold to “malicious third parties.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said before that his industry probably needs to be regulated. He repeated that today during questioning from Rep. Fred Upton in the House hearing.
“The internet is growing in importance around the world … I think it is inevitable that there will need to be some regulation. My position is not that there should be no regulation, but I also think you need to be careful about what regulation you put in place.”
Zuckerberg told CNN last month that he would welcome more regulation of political advertising on the internet.
“There are things like ads transparency regulation that I would love to see,” he told CNN. “If you look at how much regulation there is around advertising on TV and print, it’s just not clear why there should be less on the internet.”
CEO Mark Zuckerberg repeated an apology offered in a prior hearing that Facebook made a “big mistake” by not taking “a broad enough view” of its responsibility.
But he faltered somewhat when pressed by Rep. Frank Pallone, a Democrat from New Jersey, for a “yes” or “no” answer on whether Facebook would commit to changing its default settings to minimize data collection “to the greatest extent possible.”
“This is a complex issue that deserves more than a one-word answer,” Zuckerberg said. Pallone called the response “disappointing.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg blamed an “enforcement error” for conservative sisters Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson — better known as Diamond and Silk on Twitter and Facebook — being told their Facebook content was “unsafe,” which they and their supporters decried as censorship.
“We have already gotten in touch with them to reverse it,” Zuckerberg claimed, though as recently as yesterday the sisters claimed Facebook had not.
What happened: The Washington Post reported that the sisters began noticing Facebook was limiting the reach of their posts back in September, and when they sought an explanation, they heard nothing. This month they got an email from Facebook that read, “The Policy team has came to the conclusion that your content and your brand has been determined unsafe to the community. This decision is final and it is not appeal-able in any way.”
Watch them explain:
Why is @Facebook stopping some people that have liked and followed our @DiamondandSilk page from seeing our content first even though they are following FB instructions? This is what we call undercover bias tactics. “CENSORSHIP” Press play, here’s the proof.
A bystander told CNN’s Laurie Segall they “felt a chill” when he walked by.
They start like this:
“We face a number of important issues around privacy, safety, and democracy, and you will rightfully have some hard questions for me to answer. Before I talk about the steps we’re taking to address them, I want to talk about how we got here.”Facebook is an idealistic and optimistic company. For most of our existence, we focused on all the good that connecting people can bring. As Facebook has grown, people everywhere have gotten a powerful new tool to stay connected to the people they love, make their voices heard, and build communities and businesses. Just recently, we’ve seen the #metoo movement and theMarch for Our Lives, organized, at least in part, on Facebook. After Hurricane Harvey, people raised more than $20 million for relief. And more than 70 million small businesses now use Facebook to grow and create jobs.But it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.
You can read along right here.
Mark Zuckerberg has arrived at his House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, where members of Congress are now reading through their opening remarks.
When it’s Zuckerberg’s turn to talk, here’s what he is expected to say.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified yesterday before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees about the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Here’s what we learned from his testimony:
— Zuckerberg’s greatest regret is that Facebook was “slow in identifying the Russian operations in 2016,” he said.
— He confirmed that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team spoke with his employees about Russian meddling in the 2016 election. CNN reported last year that Facebook handed Russia-linked ads over to Mueller under search warrant.
— Zuckerberg made several commitments to lawmakers, including ensuring activist groups aren’t targeted on Facebook and promised that his company wouldn’t make “any decisions based on the political ideology of the content.”
— He slapped down an audio mining conspiracy theory. Zuckerberg said Facebook is not listening in on your phone calls.
— Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy thinks Facebook’s “user agreement sucks.”
— Zuckerberg was not sworn-in under oath, but he still had a “legal obligation to testify truthfully,” a Commerce committee GOP aide told CNN.
— A bogus Facebook profile of Delaware Sen. Chris Coons was created and taken down.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will return to Capitol Hill this morning, where he’ll testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Zuckerberg testified yesterday for five hours before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees, where he formally apologized for mistakes that led to the Cambridge Analytica scandal and stressed that his company is rethinking its responsibility to users and society.
It was the first time that Zuckerberg testified before Congress.
Lawmakers quizzed Zuckerberg on Facebook’s data collection practices, the company’s alleged monopoly power and his views on regulating internet companies.
Zuckerberg did stumble in answering a couple questions, including how Facebook staff came to the decision not to notify users of the Cambridge Analytica data issue when it first came to light in 2015.
On the whole, however, investors appeared to like his performance. Facebook stock ended the day up 4.5%.
During the five-hour hearing, CEO Mark Zuckerberg fielded questions on Facebook’s data collection practices, the company’s alleged monopoly power and his views on regulating internet companies.
But with 44 senators asking questions, an unusually high number, and just five minutes of time allotted for each, there was limited potential for followup questions to and grilling of the CEO.
Perhaps the most memorable line of the afternoon came from Sen. John Kennedy, who slammed Facebook for its complicated terms of service agreement.
“Your user agreement sucks,” said Kennedy, a Republican representing Louisiana. “It’s not to inform your users about their rights. I’m going to suggest to you that you go back home and rewrite it.”
Sen. John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, asked Mark Zuckerberg if he’s willing to make a commitment to protect political speech from “all different corners.”
Zuckerberg said he would.
“If there’s an imminent threat of harm, we’re going to take a conservative position on that and make sure that we flag that and understand that more broadly,” he said.
Zuckerberg said he wants the “widest possible expression ” on Facebook.
“I don’t want anyone at our company to make any decisions based on the political ideology of the content,” he said.
Sen. John Kennedy had a blunt message for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: “Your user agreement sucks.”
He said that’s what everybody has been trying to tell him today.
“You can spot me 75 IQ points. If I can figure it out, you can figure it out,” Kennedy said. “The purpose of that user agreement is to cover Facebook’s rear-end. It’s not to inform your users about their rights. Now, you know that and I know that. I am going to suggest to you that you go back home and you rewrite it and tell your $1,200-an hour lawyers, no disrespect, they’re good, but tell them that you want it written in English and non-Swahili, so the average American can understand it. That would be a start.”
The Louisiana Republican told Zuckerberg he can either spend millions of dollars to fight new legislation to regulate Facebook or help Congress solve the problem.
He said there are two problems with Facebook: privacy and propaganda.
Kennedy told Zuckerberg he was disappointed with the hearing because he felt like they were not connecting.
“I think you are a really smart guy and I think that you have built an extraordinary American company and you’ve done a lot of good,” Kennedy said. “Some of the things you’ve been able to do are magical, but our promised digital utopia, we have discovered, has minefields. There are some impurities in the Facebook punchbowl and they got to be fixed, and I think you can fix them.”
Sen. Cory Booker asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg if he was committed to ensuring that activist groups like Black Lives Matter aren’t “unfairly” targeted or monitored.
“I think that that’s very important,” Zuckerberg said.
“We are committed to that. And in general, unless law enforcement has a very clear subpoena or ability to get access to information, we’re going to push back on that across the board,” he added.
Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat from Michigan, told Mark Zuckerberg of his constituents’ concerns that Facebook may be listening to phone conversations — “mining audio” to create targeted ads the next time they open the app.
Peters said that concern “which I think speaks to the lack of trust.”
It’s a conspiracy theory Facebook has been denying for years. “We don’t do that,” Zuckerberg told Peters.
The CEO then said that Facebook does allow its users to take videos on their devices and share those, and since videos have audio, they do record that and “use that to make the service better.”
But it’s not, Zuckerberg said, listening in on your phone calls.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he was “dissatisfied” with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony
He said Zuckerberg gave “a lot of the same apologies, confessions and contrition” that senators heard before.
“The commitments are so vague,” Blumenthal said. “I think today’s performance will give us additional support. I think the vague promises, the supposed commitments that lack any real credibility will give us additional traction.”
Sen. Dan Sullivan, a Republican from Alaska, asked CEO Mark Zuckerberg if Facebook was too powerful.
“Are you too powerful? And do you think you are too powerful?” Sullivan asked.
Zuckerberg didn’t answer yes or no.
Instead, Zuckerberg responded that when people talk about Facebook’s scale — conflating size with power — they are referencing the 2 billion in its community, most of which are outside the US.
“I think that’s something to your point Americans should be proud of,” he said.
The conversation quickly shifted to content and regulation, where Zuckerberg said he views Facebook as a tech company, not a publishing company. He added that Facebook is responsible for the content, but they don’t produce it.
Sen. Chris Coons, speaking to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, said his photograph and a photo of a fellow senator’s family was used for a bogus Facebook profile.
The Delaware Democrat said friends flagged the account and his aides were able to contact Facebook to remove the page by midday.
But he said the experience left him thinking about the average Facebook user who’s not in the US Senate.
“Isn’t it Facebook’s job to better protect its users and why do you shift the burden to users to flag inappropriate content and make sure it is taken down?” Coons asked Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg said Facebook needs to do a better job with its content policy enforcement.
He added that Facebook started in his dorm room, with not a lot of resources. Now, Zuckerberg said people report things and Facebook employees review them.
He said in the future, AI technology will be flagging content.
The host of MTV’s “Catfish” show — which focuses on fake Internet relationships oftentimes built off of fake Facebook pages that use stolen images — wasn’t sold on Mark Zuckerberg’s claim today that people are “not allowed to have a fake account on Facebook” and that their “content has to be authentic.”
Nev Schulman’s reaction? “
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been taking the heat for the data scandal engulfing the social network, and now he’s answering to members of Congress.
Photographer Stephen Voss is in the hearing room for Zuckerberg’s testimony.
Click here to see more of Voss’ photos from Washington.
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, grilled CEO Mark Zuckerberg over whether Facebook has political bias.
Zuckerberg said Facebook’s goal is not to engage political speech. Cruz followed up, citing several examples in which Facebook blocked user accounts because their content and brand was “unsafe to the community,” he said.
“To a great many Americans that appears to be persuasive pattern of political bias, do you agree with this?” Cruz asked Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg said he understands those concerns, especially because “Facebook and tech industry is located in Silicon Valley, which is an extremely left-leaning place.”
But he said he tries to make sure Facebook doesn’t have any bias in the work that it does.
“I think it is a fair concern that people would at least wonder about,” Zuckerberg said.
Senator Graham, after his questioning of Mark Zuckerberg told press that he thought the Facebook CEO was “like jello” on regulations.
“I think you should take what they say with a grain of salt—-we’ll see— we’ll see how serious they are.”
“I think he was sort of like Jello-O on this. He’s for regulations except the ones you’re talking about. ‘So the Europeans maybe don’t work here — I don’t know, maybe we can find some, give me ideas.’ The point was I think we’re going to have to lead here. If we are counting on Facebook regulating itself, we’re going to fail.”
“I am a Republican — I don’t like regulating things unless you have to but to me you’ve got a very large organization without any real competition,” Graham said.
“They are good, sincere people. But they’ve created, in many ways, a monster….there is a dark side to this. And I don’t think the industry itself is going to address that dark side.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal had staffers stand behind him holding up a sign that displayed Mark Zuckerberg’s past apologies.
“We’ve seen the apology tours before,” Sen. Blumenthal told Zuckerberg.
The first, from 2006, followed the outrage that came when Facebook surprised its users with the launch of News Feed, which many believed would be a tool for “stalkers.”
The second, in November 2007, came after a tool called Beacon informed users what their friends had purchased.
The third was from December 2011 following Facebook’s settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over privacy violations.
Correction: CNN originally identified Sen. Richard Blumenthal as Sen. Ron Wyden.
While Zuckerberg was testifying, Facebook stock closed with its best percentage gain since April 2016.
Facebook’s stock was up about 2% even before Zuckerberg sat down. It moved even higher when he started addressing some of the tough questions from lawmakers, including one from Senator Lindsey Graham about whether Facebook was a monopoly.
Facebook finished the day with a 4.5% gain, a seeming sign of confidence in Zuckerberg from Wall Street.
Other social media stocks rallied as well. YouTube owner Google rose 1.6%. Snapchat parent Snap Inc. gained 2.3%, and Twitter soared nearly 5.5%.
During the hearing, Zuckerberg reaffirmed his support for the Senate Honest Ads Act — legislation that would disclose political ads.
This bipartisan legislation would place new disclosure requirements on political advertisements in an effort to combat the kind of election meddling that Russia engaged in during the 2016 election campaign.
He also added Facebook is adding a feature where users can see what all the ads are on Facebook.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg “is not being sworn-in under oath, but he still has a legal obligation to testify truthfully,” a Commerce committee GOP aide tells CNN. “By tradition, the Commerce Committee does not swear-in witnesses,” the aide added.
From CNN’s Daniella Diaz
During his round of questioning, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Mark Zuckerberg if he thought Facebook was a monopoly.
“It certainly doesn’t feel like that to me,” Zuckerberg said.
That response drew some light laughter from some in the room.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington, quizzed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today over his employees’ dealing with Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm with ties to President Donald Trump’s campaign.
Asked whether Facebook employees were involved with Cambridge Analytica during the 2016 presidential campaign, Zuckerberg said he didn’t know, though they did “help out.”
“Although, I know we did help out the Trump campaign overall in sales support in all in same way that we help do with all other campaigns,” he said.
Why we’re talking about Cambridge Analytica
Last week, Facebook said Cambridge Analytica may have had information on about 87 million Facebook users without the users’ knowledge. Previous reporting had put the number of users at about 50 million.
The data obtained was originally collected by University of Cambridge professor Aleksandr Kogan who used an app called “thisisyourdigitallife,” which offered a personality test. Facebook users who downloaded the app granted it permission to collect data on their location, friends and things they Liked. The data collection was allowed by Facebook at the time.
However, Facebook has said that Kogan violated its terms of service by giving the information to Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook banned Kogan and Cambridge Analytica from its platform last month ahead of a New York Times investigative report about how the data was passed on.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has interviewed the Facebook staff about Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Zuckerberg said his employees have spoken to the Mueller team, but he has not personally been interviewed.
“I want to clarify, I’m not sure we have subpoenas. I know we’re working with them,” Zuckerberg said.
CNN reported in September that Facebook handed Russia-linked ads over to Mueller under a search warrant.
Odd exchange between Sen. Patrick Leahy and Mark Zuckerberg on whether Facebook is working with special counsel Robert Mueller. Zuck seemed unclear what he could reveal. Live coverage: https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/mark-zuckerberg-testifies-congress/index.html …
Codepink demonstrators held signs before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees with Mark Zuckerberg that read, “Protect our privacy,” “Stop corporate spying,” and — in a literal sign they weren’t joining the #DeleteFacebook movement — “Like us on Facebook.”
Shares of Facebook, which were up about 2% when the hearing began, moved even higher as Zuckerberg addressed questions from senators.
The stock was up nearly 5% by 3:20 p.m. ET, a sign that investors seemed to be impressed with Zuckerberg’s answers — and maybe a little less concerned that more federal regulations would be imposed on it and rival tech companies.
Other social media stocks, rallied too. YouTube owner Google was up nearly 2%, and Twitter surged 7.5%.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein just asked Mark Zuckerberg what Facebook was doing to prevent foreign actors from interfering in US elections?
He said it is one of his “top priorities” to “get this right,” and that he truly regrets what happened in 2016. “This is one of my top priorities is to get this right. One of my greatest regrets is we were slow in identifying the Russian operations in 2016,” Zuckerberg said.
“One of my greatest regrets in running the company is that we were slow in identifying the Russian information operations in 2016.” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Chairman and CEO https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/mark-zuckerberg-testifies-congress/ …
Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida, asked whether Facebook is considering forcing Facebook users to pay to block unwanted advertisements
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said its users have control over their ad experience and they can turn off third-party information.
“To be clear, we don’t offer an option today for people to pay not to show ads,” Zuckerberg said. “We think offering an ad-supported service is most aligned with our mission of trying to connect everyone in the world because we want to offer a free service that everyone can afford.”
He said in the first line of Facebook’s terms of service, they tell users that they control and own the information and content that’s on their Facebook.
The appearance marks the first time that Zuckerberg has testified before Congress. Zuckerberg, 33, swapped his usual gray t-shirt and jeans attire for a dark blue suit and light blue tie.
He appeared somber as he walked in to testify, and spoke before a packed room, with 44 senators in attendance.
“It’s extraordinary to hold a joint committee hearing. It’s even more extraordinary to have a single CEO testify before nearly half the United States Senate,” said Sen. John Thune, chairman of the Commerce Committee.
“Then again, Facebook is extraordinary.”
Here’s what Mark Zuckerberg just told members of the Senate committees who are now questioning the CEO over Facebook’s data practices:
You will rightfully have hard questions for me to answer. Before I talk about the steps we taking to address them, I want to talk about how we got here. Facebook is an idealistic and optimistic company. For most of our existence, we focused on all of the good that connecting people can do. And as Facebook has grown, feel — people have gotten is powerful new tool for staying connected to people they love and recently we’ve seen the #metoo movement and after hurricane Harvey, people came to the and 70 million small businesses used Facebook to create jobs and grow. But it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools for being used as harm as well. That goes for fake news, for interference in elections and we didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake and it was my mistake and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it and I’m responsible for what happens here. So now we have to go through our — all of our relationship with people and make sure we’re taking a broad enough view of our responsibility. It’s not enough to just connect people. We have to make sure those connections are positive. It’s not enough to give people a voice. We have to make sure people aren’t using it to harm people or spread disinformation. Across the board we have a responsibility to not just build tools but to make sure that they’re used for good. It will take some time to work through all the changes but I’m committed to getting this right. Here are a few things that we are doing to address this and to prevent it from happening again. First, we’re getting to the bottom of exactly what Cambridge Analytica did and telling everyone affected. What we know now is that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed information by buying it. When we first contacted Cambridge Analytica, they told us they had deleted the data. About a month ago, we heard new reports that suggested that wasn’t true. Now we’re working with governments in the U.S., the U.K. And around the world to do a full audit of what they’ve done and make sure they get rid of any data they may still have. Second, to make sure no other app developers out there are misusing data, we’re investigating every app and to prevent this from going forward, we’re making sure they can’t access as much information now. The good news is we already made big changes in our platform in 2014 that would have prevented this specific situation with Cambridge Analytica from occurring again today. But there’s more to do. You can find more details on the steps we’re taking in my written statement. My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people, building community and bringing the world closer together. Advisers and developers will never take priority over that as long as I am running Facebook. I started Facebook when I was in college. We’ve come a long way since then. We now serve more than 2 billion people around the world, and every day people use our services to stay connected to the people that matter to them most. I believe deeply in what we are doing and I know that when we address these challenges, we’ll look back and view helping people connect and giving more people a voice as a positive force in the world. I realize the issues we’re talking about today aren’t just issues for Facebook in our community, they’re issues and challenges for all of us as Americans. Thank you for having me here today. I’m ready to take your questions.
In his prepared opening remarks, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the Senate that, ultimately, “I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”
He said the company failed to protect its users and their privacy.
“It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry,” Zuckerberg said.
Mark Zuckerberg has a clear message for Congress in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal: It’s my fault.
He’s currently giving his opening remarks to lawmakers, a version of which was previewed when a copy of Zuckerberg’s remarks as prepared for delivery to the House, which is scheduled for tomorrow, was posted online.
My fear: The majority of lawmakers — 44 in all just today — will not have a sufficient enough grasp of Facebook’s business model to press Zuckerberg out of his comfort zone. They will instead each use their five minutes to grandstand and make speeches that will have little bearing on the future of data privacy, much less the future of Facebook.
From Dylan Byers’ newsletter PACIFIC: The new CNNMoney newsletter about the center of change and innovation.
Behind the scenes, Mark Zuckerberg and his team did mock hearings over the past week in a conference room at Facebook set up to look like a congressional hearing room.
Zuckerberg plans to be contrite in his appearances before lawmakers. He will make the case for Facebook — why it helps people’s lives — but be ready to push back when appropriate.
“He’s nervous, but he’s really confident,” the source said. “He’s a smart guy.”
The Facebook CEO arrived at the hearing at 2:29 p.m. ET.
Here’s one what attending of Zuckerberg hearing wants to say: #DeleteFacebook.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a message to his page just before he heads into the joint committee hearing in the wake of Facebook’s data scandal.
“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,” Zuckerberg wrote. “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.”
He included a photo of the Capitol Building’s west lawn, with its trees in full bloom.
We’re hearing that the Senate Judiciary/Commerce Committee hearing with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to start closer to 2:30 p.m. ET due to a procedural vote on the Senate floor.
CNN’s Laurie Segall is in the room where Mark Zuckerberg is due to face questions. On the desk, there’s one name placard that reads, “Mr. Mark Zuckerberg.”
Here’s his seat:
Yes, this Senate hearing is public and will be live streamed and covered right here in real time.
You will be able to watch it live above, or follow it on this page. It starts at 2:15 p.m. ET.
Facebook users can now see whether their data may have been obtained by political data firm Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook on Monday began rolling out a “see how you’re affected” tool at the top of News Feeds to inform users if they’re among the tens of millions of people who had their data improperly harvested by Cambridge Analytica.
—> Go here to see if you’re one of the users affected.
Investors are suing Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which sent the company’s value plunging almost $50 billion this week.
Facebook shareholder Fan Yuan filed the lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco on Tuesday. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of an undisclosed number of investors who bought Facebook shares between February 3, 2017, and March 19, 2018.
The lawsuit said Facebook “made materially false and misleading statements” about the company’s policies, and claims Facebook did not disclose that it allowed third parties to access data on millions of people without their knowledge.
“As a result of Defendants’ wrongful acts and omissions, and the precipitous decline in the market value of the Company’s common shares, Plaintiff and other Class members have suffered significant losses and damages,” the lawsuit said.
Paul Grewal, Facebook’s deputy general counsel, said that the company is “committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information.”
Cardboard cutouts of CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is testifying before Congress in just a few hours, were placed outside the Capitol building this morning.
The lookalikes are wearing T-shirts that read: “Fix Facebook.”
The stunt is the work of global activist group Avaaz, which wants Zuckerberg, Internet CEOs and government regulators to fight disinformation campaigns across Facebook and other social platforms.
“We know Facebook is doing things to address the fake news problem, but they are doing it in a way to that is too small and too secretive,” Avaaz campaign director Nell Greenberg told CNN.
Today’s hearings on Capitol Hill come a little more than three weeks after news broke that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump’s campaign, reportedly accessed information from about 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge.
Facebook has since said the firm could have had data on as many as 87 million people.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has never testified before Congress. It’s rare for him to be interviewed in a setting not of his own choosing.
Here’s what we can expect from the hearings:
— Zuckerberg will lay out a series of steps the company is taking to safeguard data. That includes investigating every third-party app with access to user information and making it easier for users to see which apps have access to their data.
— He’ll acknowledge that Facebook was “too slow” in spotting and responding to “Russian interference” on its platform during the 2016 election.
Mark Zuckerberg has a clear message for Congress in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal: It’s my fault.
The Facebook CEO met with lawmakers on Monday on Capitol Hill in advance of this week’s hearing.
He is expected to take the blame for mistakes that led to the data debacle and lay out steps taken to prevent it from happening again, according to a copy of Zuckerberg’s remarks as prepared for delivery to one of the committees before which he will be testifying.
It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy,” Zuckerberg said in the prepared remarks, which were released by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Monday.
Zuckerberg is set to appear before: the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on this afternoon followed by a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday morning.