Yes, Senator. No, Senator. Well, Senator…

Mr. Zuck goes to Washington.


  • Let’s start with Life in Facebookistan, shall we? (As if we would even have a choice today!!)

  • Approximately 1,500 people gave This is Your Digital Life access to their Facebook messages, both sent and received, meaning Cambridge Analytica had access to thousands of private messages as well, Issie Lapowsky reports for Wired.

  • And, Donie O’Sullivan reports for CNN that the largest Black Lives Matter page is a fake, and that donations to that group have ended up in the pockets of a middle-aged white man in Australia.

  • Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg took his raised seat in front of two U.S. Senate committees yesterday. Writing in The Guardian, Zephyr Teachout called the entire hoopla a failure and utter sham.

  • Zuckerberg struggled to answer Sen. Kamala Harris’s questions about the who, where, when, why behind the decisions to disclose Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of user data, Caroline Haskins pointed out in The Outline. “When Harris pressed further and asked whether there was a meeting in general, Zuckerberg couldn’t speak to it,” Haskins writes. “He only spoke of the “conversation in company at the time,” and the ultimate outcome, which was to ban Cambridge Analytica from the platform. Facebook’s decision not inform users, as Zuckerberg tells it, may have happened only through neglect. Zuckerberg admitted moments later that Facebook leaders did have a meeting about the matter, but couldn’t speak to when the meeting was, who was in it, or exactly how this decision was made. He claimed he didn’t know.”

  • Alvaro Bedoya, the founding executive director of Georgetown’s Center on Privacy and Technology, pointed out that Zuckerberg was verbally supporting the idea of getting special consent for facial recognition while his company pressures lawmakers in Illinois to gut a state law that prevents the company from running facial recognition scans without user consent, as Russell Brandom reports for The Verge—the left hand acting like he doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

  • More of the same: “I’m not really familiar with what Palantir does,” says the man whose company counts the founder of Palantir among its board members.

  • The AP’s Andrew Harnik got a photo of Zuckerberg’s notes.

  • Evgeny Morozov tweeted, “For all the noise, Zuck’s notes contained a key point: America won’t do *anything* to tame its tech industry because of China.”

  • As far as we know, Zuckerberg has not yet muttered “dumb fucks” under his breath, but many other squares on this bingo card by Julia Carrie Wong have been crossed off. No “Zucko!” yet though.

  • Human rights advocates are following the example of their peers in Myanmar by writing a letter to Zuckerberg asking why Facebook is suspending the accounts of journalists and activists critical of the ruling regime, Cristina Maza reports for Newsweek.

  • The California Review of Images and Mark Zuckerberg is seeking paper proposals for a second volume.

  • Reddit posted their 2017 transparency report yesterday, and linked to all 944 accounts with apparent origins with the Russian Internet Research Agency.

  • The Aspen Institute has published two new posts on civic engagement, the final products in their Listening to Inclusive Innovators series. Read them here and here.

  • Nithin Coca reports for Equal Times on how Taiwan is building an open, digital democracy.

  • Your moment of zen.

  • Bonus!