Mark Zuckerberg Faces the Courts

Paige Hall, Entertainment Reporter

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Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg was questioned by a joint session of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Tuesday and returned for a second hearing on Wednesday. As most people are aware, Facebook’s privacy issues have been a longtime concern for users of the program and the problem was exacerbated further after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether or not Facebook violated privacy terms when it released millions of users’ information to Cambridge Analytica, who worked with the Trump Campaign.

Zuckerberg has been previously criticized for his inability to successfully communicate the goal of the company and protect his viewpoint along with Facebook’s changes and avoid receiving backlash. Like politicians, Zuckerberg often skirts around important questions. When asked about the necessity of privacy regulation for users, Zuckerberg stated, “I think the real question as the Internet becomes more important… is what is the right regulation?” Zuckerberg clearly does not want to admit the fact that Facebook is majorly at fault for neglect of protecting the information of its users.

On Tuesday, his agreements were vague and not very promising. He did not agree to change basic aspects of the platform nor did he agree to stop using users’ personal information for advertising purposes. He simply determined that Facebook would be implementing its policies more strictly. In each hearing, he was also asked about the fact that some view Facebook as a monopoly, which he quickly dismissed responding with the fact that people use countless other social media platforms in their daily lives.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal depleted Facebook’s market value by about $80 billion, however, on the investment side of things, Facebook stock increased nearly 6% following Zuckerberg’s hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday. Zuckerberg may have handled himself well in front of law enforcement, but the further investigation of the company’s activities will not come to a halt; Bill Nelson noted that government may have to intervene if Facebook cannot preserve the privacy rights of its users.

Facebook has paved the way for nearly all social media platforms and has become a worldwide empire, but the company’s “move fast and break things” slogan may be backfiring on them at this point. Although there is great frustration among the public and much discontent coming from the government, it will take a lot for Zuckerberg to implement the changes that people desire.

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