Mark Zuckerberg is undeniably relieved that his 2-day face off before the Congress was finally over. He exonerated himself from the scrutinizing eyes of the lawmakers and the public with respect, humility, and courage. So far, everything went peacefully well without blunders.
Last Wednesday he testified before the Congress during the hearing of House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. As what I’ve said, everything went well, and way too hilarious than expected.
The lawmaker’s looks like they didn’t do their homework and research before bombarding Zuckerberg with questions. It didn’t end so bad, in fact, it unintentionally entertained the audience.
Here are some of the most confusingly hilarious and out of the topic questions that the Congress asked Zuckerberg.
Let me warn you, you might get confused as well.
1. "Some people refer to [Peter Thiel's startup Palantir] as Stanford Analytica. Do you agree?"
Washington Senator Maria Cantwell (D) used this question to subtly ask Zuckerberg whether Peter Thiel’s Palantir is responsible for Cambridge Analytica’s user data mustering, as the media reported.
Zuckerberg is not, in any way, related to either two companies and has no way of knowing the truth. Despite being confused, he straightly said that he didn’t.
2. "Did you know that the Motion Picture Association of America is having problems with piracy and ... this is challenging their existence?"
Representative Buddy Carter of Georgia (R) emphasized the extensive trade of opioids and ivory from endangered elephants in Facebook. He then asked this question to Zuckerberg which he simply answered with “Congressman, I believe that has been an issue for a long time”.
He didn’t even notice the absurdity of his question or that piracy happens on the internet and not just on Facebook alone and the irrationality of it being a danger to Hollywood’s movie industry. Of course, it imposes a threat to the
movie industry in general, period!
3. "Would you bring some fiber, because we don't have connectivity?
It appears that some of the rural areas of West Virginia don’t have stable internet connection yet.
Good thing, West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R) asked Zuckerberg this question-slash- request and the latter simply answered with “we would be happy to follow up with you on that”.
But wait there’s more! The next day, the other representatives asked-slash requested him if he could provide broadband for their states too. So it wasn’t a questioning session but rather a request for a free broadband session!
4. "My son is dedicated to Instagram, so he'd want to be sure I mentioned him while I was here with you."
If you think “Shoutouts” is for Facebook Live only, you’re wrong. It happens in U.S. Congressional hearings too.
Missouri Senator Roy Blunt (R) flatly granted his son’s request by voicing out this statement. Zuckerberg is indeed the celebrity in a room full of politicians and powerful elders/lawmakers.
But wait, isn’t he supposed to ask and grill the latter with questions regarding the data breach in Facebook?
5. "What was Facemash, and is it still up and running?"
This question is apparently relatable to people who watched the movie, The Social Network, inspired by Zuckerberg’s success story.
Unknown to us, Missouri Representative Billy Long obviously watched the movie, where he got the idea of Facemash and fired the question towards the 33-year- old executive.
Facemash is one of Zuckerberg’s first projects 15 years ago wherein you can compare two photos of women and pick which one is hotter than the other.
Unfortunately, Harvard closed it down few days after its release. The fact that he asked about Zuckerberg’s early ventures means that this Senator is a fan of the Facebook’s CEO.
6. "How do you sustain a business model in which users don't for your service?"
Among all irrelevant and hilarious questions, this one “slain” them all!
Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah asked this question to Zuckerberg which made him blink a few times. It’s either he couldn’t believe the question or isn’t
ready to explain the internet to her.
He merely answered with “Senator, we run ads”.
“I see. That’s great!” Senator Hatch responded.
It’s so refreshing to see the usually serious and strict lawmakers fire funny questions to a brainy guy who happened to be the CEO and co-founder of the biggest social media platform, Facebook.
Other people were disappointed by the way the Congress questioned Zuckerberg. They thought that they could have grilled the CEO more if they were adequately informed with proper knowledge on how social media and the internet works.
The early wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal was a stressful period for every social media user. Everyone was afraid that their privacy might have been breached and violated.
The weird and hilarious questioning on Zuckerberg is a great refresher for everyone. Yes, they could have asked him more and find out more but honestly, every single thing that the public needs to know were mentioned in
Zuckerberg’s written testimony.