Last week Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where the private information of over 87 million people was used for targeted political campaigning. Some critics say that questioning around privacy and election tampering didn’t go far enough. We speak to Tactical Tech’s Cade Diehm, Rose Regina Lawrence, Semanur Karaman and Varoon Bashyakarla about what they would have asked Zuckerberg.
In Part 1: Karaman and Bashakarla say they would have asked Zuckerberg questions about how Facebook sees itself. Bashyakarla feared that, by asking Zuckerberg’s views on hate speech, members of Congress were treating Zuckerberg as a thought leader. Karaman raised the issue of Facebook’s role as an agenda setter in determining what free speech is, citing examples in Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Hungary.
In Part 2: Diehm discusses the “echo chamber” effect of Facebook’s interface. He says that while Zuckerberg made “apologetic commitments” and rolled out an interface with new privacy controls, ultimately “there’s no transparent way of actually assessing whether or not this interface either works better or even has any meaningful effect on the underlying data collection within Facebook.” Lawrence says she would have liked to ask about Facebook’s algorithms.
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