Our Facebook Overlord Mark Zuckerberg is this week up in Capitol Hill in front of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees Joint Hearing to discuss data breaches on his social media platform.
During the hearing, Zuckerberg was questioned about several different topics including third party use of users data, GDPR, use of content, so called ‘hate speech’ and censorship. Asked if he thought the Europeans had ‘got it right’ concerning GDPR, Zuck responded by saying ‘I think they get things right’ (to a resounding chuckle).
Zucky Nervous. Zucky drink water
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, whose services were used by current President Trump and former President Barrack Obama during their Presidential campaigns, users have been up in arms about how exactly their data is used by the Social Media Giant.
Here’s a striking image of Zuckerberg at the hearing, some may even call it ironic:
The biggest takeaways from the hearing however, was the concern of many senators about censorship. ‘Fake News’ and ‘Hate Speech’ were top of the list, as many pointed out, the definition of which is difficult to pin down (to say the least) and therefore the interpretation of content as ‘hate speech’ or ‘fake news’ is subjective, meaning Facebook can decide what it considers to be either. This sets a very dangerous precedent, allowing for the manipulation of information on a mass scale.
Concerning the data issue, a particularly clever question from Senator Dick Durbin to Zuckerberg as he asked if he wanted to disclose what hotel the CEO stayed in the night before. Unlucky Zucky, presumably considering how divulging such information would be a security risk, refused to do so. This certainly highlighted Durbin’s point affectively.
Both Lindsey Graham and Senator Kennedy of Louisiana brought up the confusing language in which Facebook user agreements are written, with Kennedy simply declaring that Zuck’s user agreement ‘SUCKS’ and accused the Social Media mongol of just covering his ‘rear end’, not informing ‘the user their rights’.
“Social Media is a tool that can enhance our lives and connect us across great distances”
So, what’s the lesson you might ask? Social Media is a tool that can enhance our lives and connect us across great distances. But we should also be careful of what we share and what we agree to share with big tech companies who also want to SELL YOUR SOUL!