Mark Zuckerberg's Very Bad Day Of "Damage Control": Highlights

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave several "exclusive" interviews on Wednesday after three days in hiding - capped off with a wholly unsatisfying appearance on CNN in which the flop-sweating executive appeared rattled as he robotically bunted softballs in the wake of a massive data harvesting scandal. (Zuck wasn't even asked about that $357 million of Facebook stock he's unloaded as part of a $12 billion unwind!) 

"This was a major breach of trust, and I'm really sorry that this happened," Zuckerberg told CNN senior tech correspondent Laurie Segall - referring to the Cambridge Analytica data breach and ensuing discovery that tons of companies are appparently harvesting and selling user data. Notably absent was an explanation for revelations that Facebook was directly involved in helping the Clinton and Obama campaigns.

Zuck said the company will be deploying a "multi-part plan" to limit developers' access to user data, and said it would be auditing developers with access to large stores of user data - as well as investigating "thousands" of apps to determine whether they have abused their access to data. 

More highlights from Zuckerberg's various Wednesday interviews (scroll down for twitter reactions):

  • Facebook will notify "anyone whose data might have been affected" by the Cambridge Analytica data breach (including how ad companies track users?):
  • Zuck will be "happy" to testify before congress "if it's the right thing to do." 
  • It wasn't just Cambridge Analytica who bought data from Aleksandr Kogan - whose app called "thisismydigitallife" harvested data from tens of millions of users:
  • Zuckerberg is sure "someone" is trying to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections, but that Facebook will "get in front of them." 
  • Zuck: "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" 
  • The Facebook CEO told CNN: "I'm not sure we shouldn't be regulated. ... I actually think the question is more, 'What is the right regulation?' rather than, 'Yes or no, should it be regulated?'"
  • He told the New York Times that the social media giant would double its security force in 2018 - adding: “We’ll have more than 20,000 people working on security and community operations by the end of the year, I think we have about 15,000 now.”
  • He told the Times that the company had deployed unspecified new artificial intelligence to fight bad actors in the recent Alabama Senate election: “In last year, in 2017 with the special election in Alabama, we deployed some new A.I. tools to identify fake accounts and false news, and we found a significant number of Macedonian accounts that were trying to spread false news, and were able to eliminate those. And that, actually, is something I haven’t talked about publicly before, so you’re the first people I’m telling about that.” (via The Verge)
  • The Facebook CEO told Wired "There are probably 15 changes that we’re making to the platform to further restrict data, and I didn’t list them all, because a lot of them are kind of nuanced and hard to explain—so I kind of tried to paint in broad strokes what the issues are, which were first, going forward, making sure developers can’t get access to this kind of data."


We leave you with this: