AOC took a hold of the agenda though and decided to pick apart the flaws in Facebook’s fact-checking and content filtering processes as well as their connections to an organisation which she says has ties to white supremacy. Zuckerberg looks increasingly shook in videos of the testimony, which have gone viral. Here we break down the (six hour!) hearing into five of its best moments:
Zuckerberg is not a child. He runs one of the world’s most valuable companies and has a net worth of $69 billion. But AOC made him look like a tiny little snivelling boy who has just wet his pants in front of the entire class, except he’s not in a classroom now, he’s in the chamber of the United States Congress pissing himself in front of the whole world.
Pressing him on how Facebook handles political campaign ads, AOC asks: “Do you see a potential problem here, with a complete lack of fact-checking on political advertisements?” This comment immediately turned Zuckerberg into a five-year-old boy being told off because all he could reply with was: “Well Congresswoman, I think lying is bad.” Yes, you lied about needing the toilet and now you are drenched in a murky brown piss made entirely from whiteclaw and plain dry toast.
I could watch AOC smoke Zuck all day. pic.twitter.com/nNQnUrO9xY— 🦇𝕒𝕦𝕕𝕣𝕖𝕪 𝕥𝕒𝕪𝕝𝕠𝕣 𝕓𝕠𝕣𝕖𝕕🕸 (@udreytaylorward) October 23, 2019
When AOC pushes Zuckerberg on Facebook’s handling of potential political disinformation – “So you won’t take down lies or you will take down lies? It’s a just pretty simple yes or no” – he decides to just say other unrelated things: “Congresswoman, in a democracy, I believe people should be able to see for themselves what politicians that they may or may not vote for are saying so they can judge their character for themselves.”
He did add that it depends on what context the posts are in, for example, adverts are handled differently to normal ‘posts’, but his politician speak is primarily bullshit so who really knows anymore.
It feels almost disingenuous to mark this out as a singular ‘moment’ as it’s basically happening continuously throughout the roasting, and yet I’m doing it. AOC’s questioning does start five hours deep into the congressional testimony (which truly looks like some kind of Kafkaesque horror) and you can expect anyone’s mental capacity to have faded at least partially by that point, but Zuckerberg is world nerd number one, second only maybe to nerd-bro Elon Musk or nerd-god Bill Gates, so he’s got no excuse really.
When AOC asked if she would be able to run fake political ads on Facebook, Zuckerberg basically just said that he had no idea. “I don’t know the answer to that off the top of my head.” AOC butts in: “So you don’t know if I’ll be able to do that?” to which Zuckerberg replies “I think probably”, essentially admitting that you can run misleading and false political ads on his platform. Cool!
Zuckerberg’s blank stare and AOC’s “thank you” at the end is A1 content. She dug into that ass. I love to see it 🥰 https://t.co/LykQX0GSf8— Olisa (@Oliiisssaaa) October 24, 2019
Despite it being potentially Facebook’s darkest hour and re-aligning our assumptions of what democracy looks like in a world dominated by social media, Zuckerberg claimed that he wasn’t sure of when he first became aware of data harvesters Cambridge Analytica.
"What year and month did you personally become first aware of Cambridge Analytica?" AOC questioned. “Uh, I’m not sure the exact time, but it was probably around March 2018 but I could be wrong though” replies Zuckerberg. She then asked when he first discussed it with his board member Peter Teal, only to be met with a “uh, I don’t know.” AOC digs in: “You don’t know? This was the largest data scandal with respect to your company that had catastrophic effects on the 2016 election. You don’t know?”
Most alarming though are Zuckerberg’s responses to questions regarding an organisation that Facebook has approved as one of its independent fact-checkers. “Can you explain why you’ve named The Daily Collar, a publication well-documented with ties to white supremacists as an official fact-checker for Facebook?” AOC asks, as Zuckerberg's face turns ghostly pale.
“Sure, we actually don’t appoint the independent fact-checkers, they go through an independent organisation called the independent fact-checking network that has a rigorous standard for who they allow to serve as a fact checker.” Zuckerberg replies.
Watch the full marathon hearing below if you have a spare 6 hours:
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