The Latest: Congressman compares Facebook CEO to president
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress (all times local):
Rep. Barry Loudermilk, a Republican from Georgia, compared Mark Zuckerberg to President Donald Trump during a congressional hearing with the Facebook CEO.
Loudermilk said both men are “very successful businessmen,” both are capitalists and both are billionaires.
But he added that what he thinks the two most share in common “is you both challenge the status quo. He calls it draining the swamp, you see it as innovation.”
Zuckerberg is testifying before the House Financial Services Committee about Facebook’s plan to create a global digital currency, as well as other issues. Later in the hearing, Rep. Juan Vargas, a Democrat from California, jokingly told Zuckerberg he is “almost tempted” to ask if he took the comparison as a compliment, “since you can’t lie to Congress.”
He quickly followed up saying “Don’t answer that. Not even with a smile.”
Several Congressional Democrats have been focusing their questioning of Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s troubles when it comes to housing discrimination and civil rights laws.
Facebook changed its ad-targeting systems this year to prevent discrimination in housing, credit and employment ads as part of a legal settlement. The social network had allowed such ads to be targeted to people based on age, sex or race, which is illegal. This settled with a group including the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Fair Housing Alliance and others, but Facebook still faces an administrative complaint filed by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Zuckerberg is testifying before the House Financial Services Committee about Facebook’s plan to create a global digital currency, as well as other issues.
An unusual partisan divide has quickly opened during Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s hearing in front of Congress.
From President Donald Trump on down, Republicans have been among Facebook’s sharpest critics, complaining that the social network is biased against them — generally without offering evidence.
But the ranking Republican member of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, charged that today’s hearing was an “attack on innovation” and that attacking companies like Facebook puts American corporations behind technology advances in places like China.
Rep. Maxine Waters, the California Democrat who chairs the panel, said that Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Libra “create many concerns” and argued that maybe Facebook should be broken up.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is again appearing before Congress to face questions about his company’s massive market power, privacy lapses and tolerance of speech deemed false or hateful.
Zuckerberg will testify at a hearing Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee about Facebook’s plan to create a global digital currency, which has stirred opposition from lawmakers and regulators in the U.S. and Europe.
But the full range of policies and conduct of the social media giant with nearly 2.5 billion users will be under the public glare.
It’s the Facebook chief’s first testimony to Congress since April 2018.
Many of the company’s moves seems to spark public and official anger these days, from its alleged anticompetitive behavior to its refusal to take down phony political ads or doctored videos.