Mark Zuckerberg testimony: Facing flak from around the world and within US, Facebook Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg has testified before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees.
Mark Zuckerberg testimony: Facing flak from around the world and within US, Facebook Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg has testified before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees. This comes following disclosures that data of Facebook users was leaked to UK-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica which reportedly influenced the 2016 US Presidential Elections. It was a marathon session as members of the Committees grilled Zuckerberg even as the 33-year-old founder of the social media giant apologised to the public for “not doing enough” to protect its users’ data.
Here are highlights of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testimony before US Congress panels
1. US Congress Panels: Zuckerberg has testified before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees after months of resisting the summons. There will be another hearing today during which he would appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It was a public conversation. Before the hearing, Zuckerberg had met the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce panel Florida Senator Bill Nelson, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune.
2. Zuckerberg’s message to India: In the testimony, Zuckerberg accepted responsibility for the social network’s failure to protect private data of its 87 million users and prevent manipulation of the platform. “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 in his written testimony. Zuckerberg said that he would ensure the protection of the integrity of elections as he underlined the importance of the upcoming polls in countries, including India, Hungary and Brazil.
3. Fake news and hate speech: “I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.” “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,” Zuckerberg said. “We have to make sure those connections are positive. It’s not enough to just give people a voice, we have to make sure people aren’t using it to hurt people or spread misinformation. It’s not enough to give people control of their information, we have to make sure developers they’ve given it to are protecting it too,” he said.
4. Zuckerberg’s top priority: The Facebook CEO said he has always been his social mission of connecting people, building community and bringing the world closer together. “Advertisers and developers will never take priority over that as long as I’m running Facebook,” he said. “Across the board, we have a responsibility to not just build tools, but to make sure those tools are used for good. It will take some time to work through all of the changes we need to make, but I’m committed to getting it right,” the Facebook CEO said.
5. In a major boost to Facebook Inc, the company’s shares have posted the biggest daily gain in nearly two years.Facebook shares closed up 4.5 percent at $165.04, their highest level in almost three weeks. It was their largest daily gain since April 28, 2016. The shares fell steeply last month after the Cambridge analytica data breach scandal.