In the background of a possible multinational strike on Syria and an FBI raid on the law firm of the US President, one would almost forget that today Mr Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of the largest social media platform in the world Facebook, will be ‘grilled’ by members of the US congress.
Mr Zuckerberg’s robotic mannerism and his IT-nerdish look will be put under the microscope for the first of two days of questioning. But, as USA Today revealed earlier, with some 85% of those questioning him receiving donations via his company, we can probably all foresee that he will be let off rather lightly with a gentle ‘slap on the wrist’ sort of speak.
In fact, Facebook, either via direct donations of political action groups, has given some $381,000 to 46 of the 55 members on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the exact same group that will hear from Mr Zuckerberg.
Furthermore, most of the members of the house and senate that will question the Silicon Valley CEO have shares in Facebook listed as their current holdings, so it might not be a good idea for their own pocket to inflict too many harsh questions on the man in their sights.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">There is no place for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Conservative?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Conservative</a> thought on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Facebook?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Facebook</a> which is why I deleted my account. This won't change, so delete your account!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DeleteFacebookNow?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DeleteFacebookNow</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Trump?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Trump</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MAGA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MAGA</a><br><br>RIGGED: Lawmakers Should Grill <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Zuckerberg?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Zuckerberg</a> On His Establishment Media Favoritism <a href="https://t.co/mhfl68unZI">https://t.co/mhfl68unZI</a></p>— Arizonakayte🌵 (@ArizonaKayte) <a href="https://twitter.com/ArizonaKayte/status/983688840081625091?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 10, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Mr Ari Ratner, founder of communications consultancy Inside Revolution: “Congress is theatre. More than what they are going to want to learn about the data lapses, they are going to want to inflict pain. They are going to want to be seen as being responsive to public disgruntlement with how Facebook handled the issue.”
Lastly, it is telling that Mr Zuckerberg decides to appear before US congress but not before the UK parliament (as he was asked) but rather sends a so far unnamed ‘senior executive’ which once again shows how the social media company thinks in terms of numbers rather than importance.
Mr Zuckerberg, during his apology over not being able to appear before the UK committee, stated that there were also elections in Brazil and India which he needed to tend to that were of utter greater importance to Facebook.
Otherwise said, unless you are a country of 300 million minimum, you don’t really matter anymore for someone who controls the data of 2 billion of us, or, to use the words of author Mr Yuval Noah Harari in his book ‘Homo Deus’, soon the Silicon Valley algorithms will rule the world.