Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee today after testifying before the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees yesterday. Just nine of the 55 members on the Committee have not received any donations from Facebook.
Breitbart Tech’s Allum Bokhari, who has been out front and a must-read on all things Big Tech and Facebook, suggested four critical questions that Senators should ask Zuckerberg. He has six more that the House should ask him today.
Though the legacy media want the focus of the hearing to be about privacy, the bigger issue is whether Facebook is working to blunt the influence of right-of-center news outlets and personalities while propping up establishment outlets and those in good standing with them.
Breitbart Tech reported this week that since Facebook’s algorithm alteration, legacy media outlets like CNN have seen “remarkable” increases in engagement on the social-media platform while non-legacy outlets on the right have seen the biggest drops, according to independent analysis from Newswhip.
At Breitbart News’s blockbuster live town hall event (“Masters of the Universe”: Big Tech vs. Free Speech and Privacy) in Louisiana last week, Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, said point blank that Big Tech held back during the 2016 election because they never imagined that Donald Trump could win the presidency. But it’s a whole new ball game now.
“They held back… they will never hold back again,” he said.
10:37: Zuckerberg reveals his personal Facebook data was also breached. Rep. Eshoo (D-CA), who has received the most donations from Facebook and related entities, asks if Zuckerberg has a “moral responsibility” to create a platform that will “protect democracy.”
10:30: Dem. Rep. Bobby Rush compares Zuckerberg to J. Edgar Hoover.
10:25: Zuckerberg admits that the company made an “enforcement error” when it flagged Diamond and Silk’s page for “unsafe” content. He claims they have gotten in touch with Diamond and Silk, but the dynamic duo has claimed they have not heard from the company.
— Diamond and Silk® (@DiamondandSilk) April 10, 2018
10:20: Pallone doesn’t buy that Zuckerberg is changing user settings so they default towards more privacy.
10:16: Walden says twice as many people watched Tom Brady’s reality show than the Oscars. He points out that Facebook also has exclusive rights to 25 Major League Baseball games (Facebook broadcast Mets vs. Phillies last week). He asks if Facebook is a media company. Zuckerberg says it’s a tech company and again says it is responsible for content. Zuckerberg adds that Facebook helps build planes to help connect people but he doesn’t consider his company an “aerospace company.” Walden asks if Facebook is a financial institution. Zuckerberg again says it’s a tech company.
10:11: Zuckerberg reading his prepared testimony.
— Natasha Chen (@NatashaChenCNN) April 11, 2018
I’m no stranger to the strangeness of having a lens or two in my face. But today’s #Zuckerberg hot seat looks like a freakishly uncomfortable place to be. Will he post this on his page? pic.twitter.com/ZbLpo3Osu9
— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) April 10, 2018
10:10: Ranking Member Pallone (D-NJ) obsessed about 2016 and wants additional hearings with other tech executives about what went wrong in 2016. He wants “comprehensive legislation” to prevent another 2016. Pallone blames Republicans for being complicit in the “privacy by press release” cycle. Get the sense hearing will be more political than yesterday’s.
10 AM: Round Two: He’s back! Zuckerberg takes his seat before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) calls the Committee to order, as the questioning is about to start. Walden tells Zuckerberg he wants to discuss breaches of trust and the relationship between tech companies and its users. Walden says Facebook may have grown but may not have matured while breaking too many things. He wants to know what Facebook is–a social media company, advertising company, publisher, etc…
House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Greg Walden in his opening remarks on the second day of congressional hearings for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: “While Facebook has certainly grown, I worry it may not have matured.” https://t.co/9objKj79lb pic.twitter.com/eRDHEmr5IS
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) April 11, 2018