Facebook scandal explained | Why Zuckerburg is testifying to Congress


There were plenty of unanswered questions at the end of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's second day of testimony before Congress.

It all started, believe it or not, with a personality quiz that appeared on Facebook.

The survey also asked Google users about the same issues. Senators and representatives know that Facebook directly affects a huge proportion of their constituents who were shocked - SHOCKED - by the Cambridge Analytica scandal. "Cambridge Analytica did not illegally or inappropriately collect or share data with anybody else". CA was used by the Trump campaign in 2016.

SELYUKH: Well, we learned that even Zuckerberg could not escape the data grab.

Ex-Cambridge Analytica employee, Chris Wylie, had told United Kingdom lawmakers last month that Cambridge Analytica illegally gained access to data for 50 million Facebook users.

You can find out if you were one of the people who had their data taken, by clicking here.

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Yet in his testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, he was also steadfast in arguing that Facebook's users themselves are choosing to make their data available, and that the company's "opt-in" provisions were enough to protect their privacy rights.

I'm not sure it was called "Puppyville", but I know I had a puppy, a beagle named Henry, and I "fed" him and took him for "walks" and "took" him to the "vet" ... until I didn't, at which point Henry the virtual beagle, well, died.

In the hearings, Zuckerberg is trying to both restore public trust in his company and stave off federal regulations that some lawmakers have floated. He attended by his own choice and is not on trial, he is merely there to help congress understand the situation.

The general sense from Wall Street analysts is that Facebook might face some calls for more regulation but few seem to think that Facebook and other social media companies will wind up getting hit with crippling new rules that could hurt profits. Now the site basically regulates itself. We need to value digital literacy in the people we elect. Some of the features require more personal info than others; pictures, once posted, can potentially remain in the enormous cloud of internet data forever.

Zuckerberg said at the House hearing that his own Facebook data was part of that sweep.

Responding to Weekend Argus questions about the data breach, Facebook, which asked that no spokesperson's name be used, said 33 South African users had downloaded the application and "59777 users were potentially impacted in South Africa (these being friends of those who would have installed the app elsewhere in the world)". Google spent even more: $18 million. How hard is it for an algorithm to recognise a racial slur, for example?

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Would British MPs have asked better questions than the senators? No.

"Your user agreement sucks", Senator John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, told Zuckerberg. For the past 14 years Facebook has been much more interested in exploiting the personal data rather than protecting personal data.

Well, that will be quite a pile of work for Zuckerberg and his team, if he meant what he said.

"Some stand out quotes included...." "What if I don't want to receive those commercial advertisements?"

- "If I'm emailing within WhatsApp.does that inform your advertisers?" Long asked an apparently annoyed Zuckerberg what FaceMash is and whether or not it is still up-and-running.

The stock was already rallying earlier Tuesday as investors digested the previously released prepared remarks from Zuckerberg.

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Zuckerberg created FaceMash in October 2003 when he was a student at Harvard.