Twitter memers were out in full force on Wednesday as Mark Zuckerberg appeared in Washington, D.C., again, this time to testify to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee over Facebook’s reported misuse of user information
Twitter memers were out in full force on Wednesday as Mark Zuckerberg appeared in Washington, D.C., again, this time to testify to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee over Facebook’s reported misuse of user information.
For the second consecutive day in a row, the 33-year-old co-founder of the social media networking site appeared before Congress and apologized for one of Facebook’s largest data breaches. Facebook itself estimated that Cambridge Analytica, a political research group that worked for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, may have had information on 87 million Facebook users without the users’ knowledge.
And for the second consecutive day in a row, many tweeters created memes and cracked jokes about Zuckerberg’s testimony, his use of a “booster seat,” and senators and House reps’ apparent lack of tech savvy — but especially his “booster seat.”
In his testimony on Wednesday, Zuckerberg told Congress that his own personal data was among those sold to Cambridge Analytica and said Facebook was weighing the possibility of suing the political research group. “We’re looking into it,” he said. “We already took action to ban them from the platform.”
Zuckerberg also said Facebook would investigate whether there “is something bad” going on at Cambridge University, which makes many apps for the social network.
Later in his testimony, Zuckerberg said he has “no knowledge” that Facebook has ever given information to Russia.
In his testimony on Tuesday to the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees, Zuckerberg addressed the use of Facebook by Russian agents to spread disinformation leading up the election while answering questions from 44 senators who were each allotted five minutes to prod the Facebook CEO.
“It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm,” he said. “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.”
The father of two also outlined plans for Facebook moving forward, specifying how the platform will combat misuse, as well as strengthen user security.
“Across the board, we have a responsibility to not just build tools,” Zuckerberg explained, “but to make sure those tools are used for good.”
During his questioning with Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, Zuckerberg said Facebook has made progress since the 2016 presidential election when it comes to combating fake user accounts, pointing to the use of artificial intelligence to remove pages during elections in Alabama, France and Germany. But he alluded to the difficulties of staying ahead of entities that aim to manipulate users on the social network, calling it “an arms race.”
Yet, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington continued to press Zuckerberg on the problem of election influence.
“I believe you have all the talent,” Cantwell said. “My question is whether you have all the will to solve this problem.”
As little as 24 hours before the billionaire’s testimony on Wednesday, activist investor group Open MIC called for Zuckerberg’s resignation as CEO from the social networking giant.
This is one of many recent calls for Zuckerberg’s resignation, including an editorial that appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle. But the Facebook founder has some 60 percent of the voting rights within his company, which would make it difficult for investors to remove him — unless he chooses to step down.