For those of you who missed the Facebook drama which unfolded just a few weeks ago (that was more like a rush of fools), boy, are you ever in for a treat.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Facebook, was invited to come before Congress and the Senate last month.
The purpose? An effort to gain some social media clarity. (this is the hoopla that has been the privacy scandal in which millions of Facebook users’ personal information was breached by Cambridge Analytica.)
In other words – – we’ve been hacked and it ain’t pretty.
Of course, this major privacy breach gained the interest of D.C., who then requested Zuckerberg’s presence in an effort to get some answers. Answers that would allow for better social media protection going forward.
Zuckerberg made the trip to Congress of his own free will. It is important to mention that no indictment was given. The social media CEO simply appeared of his own free will, which not only displayed his concern for the matter, but his willingness to work with politicians to clean up the mess and lock things.
However, soon after the questions began, it became clear that Zuckerberg was not familiar with some of the seemingly important details of his own company. Then again, if you’re lucky enough to grow a business from nothing to some-thing the way Zuckerberg has, it’s par for the course. The company is way too big for him to keep his finger on things. This was made evident by Zuckerberg’s team of people advising him in between sessions.
Zuckerberg kept his professional cool amidst the flurry of somewhat half-baked questions from the Senate. It was clear that most of the senators have no earthly clue how Facebook actually works. Some of them even admitted to having personal accounts themselves on the very Facebook platform that they were slamming. At times, it seemed more a rendition of “Who’s on 1st?” … Soo, you actually read your own user agreement when you signed up for your page, right?
Zuckerberg’s responses were patient, carefully worded, and well-thought out. But he couldn’t help but show just a bit of frustration at the senators’ lack of simple understanding in how the platform works.
Questions like, “Can you make it so that people can control their privacy?” and “Do these systems talk to each other” peppered the air. Of course, if you use Facebook, you know that the platform is already setup so that you can control the privacy of your content. It appears that most of the suggestions or requests are already available in the controls on Facebook. But there are still some privacy concerns that could stand to be better addressed.
The icing on the cake, however, was Senator John Kennedy’s (R-La.) very gentle, but pointed observation, “Your user agreement sucks.” His words came at the close of the discussion and were probably the most helpful of the bunch. Rather than making accusations. Kennedy attempted to guide Zuckerberg much like a father. “Now son, this may hurt a bit, but it’s for your own good.”
The hope is that, in an attempt to avoid government regulation of Facebook, that Capitol Hill and Zuckerberg can work together. The solution is to come up with stronger privacy solutions and a cleaner, simpler user agreement.