Hurray! The grateful nation thanks you, Zuck
Mark Zuckerberg has deemed it worthy of his time to testify before the US Congress about how the profiles of 50M Facebook users fell into the hands of Cambridge Analytica and ultimately may have put Donald Trump in the White House.
Earlier, the Facebook chief told CNN that he’d be happy to chat with Congress “if it’s the right thing to do.”
Growing pressure from politicians, media, public and the nascent #DeleteFacebook movement has made it the right and only thing to do.
On the deletion front, Playboy Enterprises today announced it's stripping its accounts from the social media site, joining luminaries such as Tesla’s Elon Musk and WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, the guy who sold the mobile messaging application to Facebook for $19B.
In a bid to regain PR traction, Facebook today promised new tools to give people ways of seeing and deleting the data that it collects on them.
“We’ve heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find and that we must do more to keep people informed,” Erin Egan, chief privacy officer, and Ashlie Beringer, deputy general counsel, posted on FB’s website.
Their blog is titled, “It’s Time to Make Our Privacy Tools Easier to Find.”
A better headline: “It’s About Time We Made Our Privacy Tools Easier to Find So You Can Delete Private Information That We've Been Sharing With Others to Monetize Your Data Without You Knowing About It.” Granted, it’s a little lengthy.
Last week, Zuckerberg faced intense PR pressure for his tardy response to the initial news that Cambridge Analytica had the trove of Facebook user data.
He’s already stiffed British lawmakers, who wanted his testimony about the privacy scandal, by promising to dispatch two underlings to London. In contrast, Cambridge Analytica’s suspended chief Alexander Nix has agreed to make his second appearance before Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee.
Zuckerberg has few friends in DC these days. He should have jumped at the chance to face Congressional inquisitors. Zuck though finds it hard to relate to people outside Facebook headquarters. E.g., Remember Zuckerberg's "listening tour" of America, which was touted as the prelude to a future presidential run. Geez.
Trump is the only person in Washington mum on the Facebook scandal.
Axios reported today that the president is “obsessed” with “taking on” Amazon. That report initially drove the price of Amazon stock down more than seven percent.
Trump reportedly is upset about Amazon’s growing influence and its impact on “mom and pop” retailers.
Where's he been for the last decade? Protection of mom and pop stores is a pretty lame cover. He wants to take on Amazon because its founder Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post, which has been a thorn in the side of the tweeter-in-chief.
Trump owes Zuck a lot. His silence on Facebook speaks volumes.