Many people took notice of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s lack of an apology in his first public address Wednesday morning, after news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke. In an interview with Laurie Segall on Anderson Cooper 360, Zuckerberg not only apologized but said he regretted not being more forthcoming about the information breach. “So this was a major breach of trust, and I’m really sorry that this happened,” Zuckerberg said. “You know, we have a basic responsibility to protect people’s data. And if we can’t do that, then we don’t deserve to have the opportunity to serve people.”
Zuckerberg to Congress?
Zuckerberg also gave some surprising answers. When asked if he would testify in front of Congress, he said, “The short answer is, I’m happy to if it’s the right thing to do.” He added that it might be more appropriate for someone else to testify. “What we try to do is send the person at Facebook who will have the most knowledge about what Congress is trying to learn,” he said. “If that’s me, then I am happy to go.”
What was even more surprising was what the Facebook founder had to say about his social media site being regulated. “I actually am not sure we shouldn’t be regulated,” Zuckerberg said. “I think in general, technology is an increasingly important trend in the world, and I actually think the question is more what is the right regulation rather than yes or no, should it be regulated?”
Facebook’s Role In Elections
Zuckerberg also admitted that Facebook was not prepared for the challenges brought by the 2016 U.S. presidential election. “I think what’s clear is that in 2016 we were not as on top of a number of issues as we should have [been] — whether it was Russian interference or fake news,” he said.
Zuckerberg went on to talk about the 2017 French presidential election and the special election in Alabama, during which Facebook deployed AI tools to detect and weed out “bad actors.” But he’s aware there will be more to deal with going forward. “I’m sure that there’s … version two of whatever the Russian effort was in 2016,” Zuckerberg said. “I’m sure they’re working on that, and there are going to be some new tactics we make sure we observe and get in front of.”
He’s also aware of the responsibility that Facebook bears and insists the company will continue to do whatever is necessary to ensure the integrity of elections. “We have a responsibility to do this not only for the 2018 midterms in the U.S., which are going to be a huge deal this year, and that’s just a huge focus of us, but there’s a big election in India this year,” Zuckerberg said. “There’s a big election in Brazil. There are big elections around the world, and you can bet we are really committed to doing everything that we need to to make sure that the integrity of those elections on Facebook is secured.”
Check out the SouthPark spoof on Mark Zuckerberg and fake news:
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