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!)
CNN's Zuckerberg interview so far is profoundly unilluminating. It's basically Zuck reading his statement with some questions peppered in between paragraphs.— Will Oremus (@WillOremus) March 22, 2018
"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.
This CNN interview with Mark Zuckerberg is a softball game.... mushy, friendly questions.... not challenging, not hard hitting, leaving lots of loopholes for Zuckerberg, lack of follow-ups. Not impressed. Curious why it wasn't with Anderson Cooper as implied by promos.— Steve's OKC Central (@stevelackmeyer) March 22, 2018
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.
All I hear is Zuckerberg confirming over and over that Facebook was not rigorously vetting or enforcing agreements with apps that had access to massive amounts of personal data— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) March 22, 2018
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?):
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company will proactively reach out and notify "anyone whose data might have been affected" by the massive Cambridge Analytica data breach. https://t.co/rWMxlBeBnj https://t.co/qKT7PIJdab— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) March 22, 2018
- 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:
CNN: Mark Zuckerberg claims Aleksandr Kogan sold data to various firms in addition to Cambridge Analytica— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) March 22, 2018
- Zuckerberg is sure "someone" is trying to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections, but that Facebook will "get in front of them."
Mark Zuckerberg says he's sure someone is trying to meddle with the integrity of the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, but that Facebook will "get in front of them" pic.twitter.com/QNQJcx0xSL— Variety (@Variety) March 22, 2018
Zuckerberg: I never thought I’d have to safeguard the integrity of elections.— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) March 22, 2018
[well, have you done a good enough job?]
Zuck: “Um, we will see.”
- 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"
"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," says Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg https://t.co/ZAJbPZPI67 pic.twitter.com/YF73Yx118t— CNN International (@cnni) March 22, 2018
- 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?'"
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: "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?'" https://t.co/Vwpp8ubjsG pic.twitter.com/pnwdrR6yEp— CNN (@CNN) March 22, 2018
- 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."
If Mark Zuckerberg think's he has ever had an ice cubes chance in hell at running for President - this interview should convince everyone it's an irrational fantasy. It's like CNN is interviewing an android.— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) March 22, 2018
Gotta love how Zuckerberg completely skips over 2008 and 2012 when Facebook was working hand-in-glove with Obama! pic.twitter.com/uJuqtXQTNS— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) March 21, 2018
Halfway through CNN's Zuckerberg interview:— Kira Argounova (Strassel Republican) (@Kira_Media) March 22, 2018
# of Qs re: FB "turning a blind eye toward Obama campaign accessing FB data:" ZERO pic.twitter.com/PGutjrQrOc
Facebook answered zero questions tonight. Bravo to the $FB PR team. Choosing @LaurieSegallCNN was brilliant! So thirsty for the interview, she referred to CEO Zuckerberg as "Mark," asked no questions about Wylie, about the data, process of the transfer. Not very bright. #CNN— Ali Alexander 👑 (@ali) March 22, 2018
“I’m not sure what that means,” Zuckerberg says, mystifyingly, when asked if Russians are already meddling in midterm elections.— Alexander Nazaryan (@alexnazaryan) March 22, 2018
What on earth does that mean? If he doesn’t know, who at Facebook does?
We leave you with this:
Anyway, here's my TED talk from last year where I talk about all this, and what it means for elections and beyond. No big secret here that Zuckerberg has to discover. Many of us, especially in academia but not just, have been shouting from the rooftops. https://t.co/5WF3YFoCMe— zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) March 22, 2018