Mark Zuckerberg did not go to Washington unready: He wore a suit, he brought his notes, and, it’s safe to assume, he logged hours of prep time with his much-alluded-to “team” before taking his (platform-boosted) seat on the Hill. Somewhere along the line, that preparation must have included someone taking Zuckerberg aside and advising him to address each questioner by his or her title as much as humanly possible. Zuckerberg did as he was told, uttering the words “Congressman,” Congresswoman,” and “Senator” more than any 33-year-old has ever previously spoken them in a 26-hour span. If the intent was to show respect, the effect was more strange than anything else: Zuckerberg sounded like he was overdoing it, at times coming off as not just a try-hard but pedantic too. Sometimes even the best-laid strategies can backfire; senator, it’s complicated.
Support our independent journalism
Readers like you make our work possible. Help us continue to provide the reporting, commentary and criticism you won’t find anywhere else.Join Slate Plus