The members of the EU Parliament who represent over 500 million Europeans had limited time to ask Facebook CEO whatever they could. He was present in Brussels to clarify on the use of data on Facebook among various issues.
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Zuckerberg appeared before the US Congress last month. As usual, he didn’t waste any time in running an apology tour, saying “sorry” for all the wrong things happening on Facebook and that his company is yet to take “broad” view of responsibility.
Zuckerberg admitted that his platform was used for harm, pointing towards fake news and influence on elections. He efficiently managed to make his way through almost an hour-long testimony, promptly throwing well-practiced replies to the questions asked by the members.
However, when he was exposed to some direct hard questions, most of them were left unaddressed. EU Parliament members targetted Facebook’s monopoly, its ever growing power, and why shouldn’t the company be separated into small entities.
Talking about improving security on Facebook, Zuckerberg said many other apps should be wiped out from the platform. Recently, Facebook removed over 200 apps. One of them exposed the data of over 3 million users.
One of their “top priorities” is to ensure no one could interfere with the elections as the Russians did in 2016 US elections, he said.
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He also assured the members that his team will get back with a detailed response but couldn’t stop the wave of protest that sparked due to the format of the hearing.
“You asked for this format for a reason,” said Philippe Lamberts who represents the Green Party.
Probably, the most painful lines came from the chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Guy Verhofstadt. He asked Zuckerberg to think about his legacy.
“You have to ask yourself how you’ll be remembered.”
Whether he wants to be remembered “as one of the three big internet giants together with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, who have enriched our world and our societies, or on the other hand, the genius that created a digital monster that is destroying our democracies.”
After the hearing, Verhofstadt called it “inappropriate,” and it allowed Zuckerberg to avoid questions.
Here is the video of Zuckerberg’s testimony before the EU Parliament: