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What to expect from Zuckerberg if he testifies to Congress

What to expect from Zuckerberg if he testifies to Congress

A growing number of lawmakers are calling for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify in front of Congress following reports that the joint data firm founded by Stephen Bannon and funded by billionaire Robert Mercer stealthily harvested data from 50 million Facebook users.

This week Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), John Kennedy (R-La.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) all called for Zuckerberg to answer the public’s questions surrounding Facebook and its libraries of data.

Klobuchar and Kennedy sent a bipartisan letter to Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) requesting an in-person hearing in Congress. Wyden sent a letter to Zuckerberg himself on Monday, and a list of eight questions.

The bipartisan pair noted that while representatives from social media companies testified last year about Russian interference in the 2016 election, Congress has “yet to hear from the leaders of these companies directly.” During the companies’ last foray into the congressional spotlight, the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google were slammed for sending emissaries instead of showing up themselves.

“A hearing featuring testimony with CEOs would provide the Committee the opportunity to hear an update on the progress of these companies’ voluntary measures to combat attempted foreign interference and what is being done to protect Americans’ data and limit abuse of the platforms, as well as to assess what measures should be taken before the next elections,” Klobuchar and Kennedy wrote.

Testimony from Mark Zuckerberg under oath would provide a rare opportunity for the public to hear from the world’s fifth richest person (around $70 billion) who, despite a public tour and rumors about running for office, rarely speaks frankly.

Zuckerberg, as any viewer of “The Social Network” will remember, is no stranger to depositions. The 2010 movie portrayed multiple depositions with Zuckerberg as somewhat of a difficult witness.

It is difficult to find more than a few dozen pages of deposition from Zuckerberg’s wars with the Winklevoss twins and Eduardo Saverin. But in the bits that have been made public, Zuckerberg’s testimony under-oath shows him splitting hairs and dragging his feet.

Besides cocky quotes, under-oath testimony brought out details of the founding of Facebook and bits of Zuckerberg’s worldview (“People are more voyeuristic than what I would have thought,” he said) and did succeed to pin down, somewhat, details for the record.

Since then, Zuckerberg hasn’t completely avoided taking an oath. In January 2017, he gave testimony at a trial for the first time, taking the stand for a $2 billio

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