“There’s a lot of anger out there, and now, it’s being directed at the architects of the system,” said Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (N.C.), the panel’s top GOP member. “And maybe it’s not about Libra. It’s not just about some housing ads. And maybe it’s not even really about Facebook at all.”
Zuckerberg‘s testimony comes amid a brutal month for Facebook. The company learned this week that it faces an antitrust investigation by Democratic and Republican attorneys general in 47 states, territories and the District of Columbia, far more than the lead state behind the probe, New York, had previously announced. Federal authorities also are scrutinizing Facebook for potential violations of competition law.
“I believe this is something that needs to get built, but I get that I’m not the ideal messenger right now,” he added. “We’ve faced a lot of issues over the past few years, and I’m sure people wish it were anyone but Facebook that were helping to propose this. But there’s a reason we care about this. And that’s because Facebook is about putting power in people’s hands.”
And Zuckerberg acknowledged that the company in 2016 had been on its “back foot in terms of preventing Russia from interfering in our elections.” But he stressed Facebook’s defenses against disinformation are more “sophisticated than any other company has at this point, and frankly, governments too.”