Zuckerberg survived another hearing – this time with the EU

He got quizzed on regulation, competition, data... and dodged as many Qs as possible

Zuck was back in the hot seat yesterday, this time in front of EU political leaders and lawmakers, to answer questions about Facebook's little faux pas of giving 87 million users' (of which 2.7 million were EU residents) data to Cambridge Analytica without the users' consent.

What it means: Firstly, Zuck is reaaally good at dodging questions. He picked a format where EU reps would talk at him for three minutes each and he answered everyone at the end – meaning he could pick and choose what to respond to.

"I asked you six yes or no questions. I go no single answer," one politician said. Things got pretty heated – one MP asked whether Zuckerberg wanted to be known as one of the world's "internet giants" or "a genius who created a digital monster that is destroying our societies?" Way to get personal.

One important topic in the hearing was the issue of whether Facebook is a monopoly, i.e. a company that dominates a market in a way that makes competition next to impossible (which is bad for customers, who don't end up with a choice of products.) Zuckerberg insists it isn't – he says the market for social media communications is "a competitive space", with new media popping up all the time.

He didn't give many details on how exactly the Cambridge Analytica thing could have happened or how they're going to comply with new data rules – but he did say he'd double investment into security, because keeping people safe was more important than maximising profits.

Then again, maximising profits doesn't seem to be something he needs to worry about: Facebook reported record revenue results in April despite all this shebang going on in the months before.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?