Future Tense

Here’s How Mark Zuckerberg Will Apologize to Congress This Week

Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before a few Congressional committees this week on the mass users data Facebook has shared with political operatives.
Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before a few Congressional committees this week on the mass users data Facebook has shared with political operatives. Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Energy and Commerce Committee released Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s prepared introductory remarks on Monday. Zuckerberg is expected to testify before the committee on Wednesday. He will also appear before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on Tuesday.

In the remarks, Zuckerberg essentially rehashes what he and other Facebook executives have said before regarding Cambridge Analytica’s improper access of up to 87 million users’ data, as well as regarding Russian actors abusing the platform during the 2016 presidential election. Here are a few key takeaways:

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• Zuckerberg expresses regret for both the Russian interference and the Cambridge Analytica scandal at the beginning of his testimony: “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. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

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• Facebook has implemented a number of changes to prevent further misuse of user data, including new contractual requirements for developers who want to access profile data, reductions in the amount of data users can give to a third-party application, and the elimination of a feature that allowed people to look up users based on their phone number or email.

• Facebook is using new A.I. tools to remove fake accounts that spread misinformation, which it has already deployed for elections in France and Germany. Zuckerberg further claims that the company will add 20,000 more people by the end of the year to work on security and content review.

• Zuckerberg restates that Facebook will strengthen its ad policies by implementing a new verification process for political advertisers and disclosing funding sources on political ads.

• Zuckerberg reiterates his support for the Honest Ads Act, a bill currently before Congress that requires social media platforms to follow the same political ad disclosure rules that apply to TV, radio, and print publications.

You can read the full remarks here.

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