×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Zuckerberg to Emphasize Positives, Admit Shortcomings in Congressional Testimony

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to emphasize some of the good things Facebook has contributed to when he appears in front of lawmakers this week, but will also admit shortcomings and reiterate steps that the company is undertaking to prevent future abuse of its tools.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, where Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify Wednesday, released his prepared remarks Monday. In it, he called Facebook an “idealistic and optimistic company.” “For most of our existence, we focused on all the good that connecting people can bring,” the remarks read.

Some of the positive examples cited by Zuckerberg include the empowerment of social movements like #metoo and the recent gun control demonstrations, as well as donations made in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

“As Facebook has grown, people everywhere have gotten a powerful new tool to stay connected to the people they love, make their voices heard, and build communities and businesses,” the testimony has Zuckerberg saying in an apparent attempt to remind lawmakers that not all is bad about the social network.

However, Zuckerberg is also set to acknowledge that Facebook fell short on a number of fronts. “We didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm,” the testimony reads. “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry.”

The testimony rehashes some of the history behind the Cambridge Analytica data leak, detailing how the Trump campaign-linked company was able to get personal data on tens of millions of Americans. Interestingly, it doesn’t include a concrete number of how many users were affected by this. Early reports suggested that Cambridge Analytica could have gotten data on 50 million U.S. Americans, but Facebook itself recently acknowledged that it could have been as many as 87 million.

Zuckerberg is also set to once again talk about the way groups linked to the Russian government used the platform to target U.S. Americans with false news and rally them around partisan issues. Finally, Zuckerberg is going to reiterate some of the steps that the company previously announced, including more transparency for political ads and hiring of additional staffers to review content. “I’ve directed our teams to invest so much in security — on top of the other investments we’re making — that it will significantly impact our profitability going forward,” Zuckerberg will say.

Ultimately, Zuckerberg wants to end on a positive note, and paint Facebook as a company that can be a force for good. “I believe deeply in what we’re doing,” the testimony reads. “And when we address these challenges, I know we’ll look back and view helping people connect and giving more people a voice as a positive force in the world.”

We’ll soon learn whether lawmakers share this positive outlook. In addition to Wednesday’s House Committee testimony, Zuckerberg is set to appear before the Senate on Tuesday as well.

 

More Digital

  • Evan Williams, Twitter founder (R) and

    Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams Steps Down From Company’s Board

    Twitter co-founder Evan “Ev” Williams is stepping down from the company’s board, Twitter announced in a SEC filing Friday afternoon. Williams will depart from the board at the end of this month, according to the filing. “It’s been an incredible 13 years, and I’m proud of what Twitter has accomplished during my time with the [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Shuts Down Controversial Ovano VPN App

    Responding to a continued backlash over its data collection practices, Facebook pulled the plug on its Ovano VPN app Friday. Ovano, which promised users an added level of privacy while using public Wifi hotspots, was used by Facebook for market research purposes. Facebook removed the app from the Google Play store Friday, and the company [...]

  • Smosh

    Smosh Acquired by Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment

    UPDATED: Smosh, the long-running YouTube comedy brand, has been acquired by Mythical Entertainment, the company formed by Rhett & Link, hosts of comedy show “Good Mythical Morning.” As first reported by Variety last week, Mythical emerged as the leading candidate to buy Smosh, which was left stranded after parent company Defy Media shut down without [...]

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Aims to Top $1 Billion in Revenue in 2019, Beats Holiday Quarter Earnings Expectations

    Roku wants to become a billion-dollar company in 2019, and invest more in its ongoing international expansion. The streaming-device maker told investors on Thursday that it expects to generate between $1 billion and $1.025 billion this year, and that international growth was one of its key investment areas for 2019. Roku made these announcements as [...]

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content