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What Zuckerberg's congressional testimony doesn't say

What Zuckerberg's congressional testimony doesn't say
From TechCrunch - April 9, 2018

Theres a lot of keen analytical hindsight on display in Facebookchief executive Mark Zuckerbergs written testimony to Congress ahead of his appearance at hearings on Wednesday, but nothing that indicates Facebook is ready to come to terms with the problems rotting the core of the social network.

The bulk of Zuckerbergs opening statement is an historical analysis of the events of the past two years that have bruised the companys reputation and share price.

Zuckerberg is defending his company on two fronts as he faces down the members of Congress that could regulate his company out of existenceuser privacy and platform integrity.

In the testimony, Zuckerberg highlights the initial steps that Facebook has taken to close down access for third parties and to do more to combat fake accounts and the spread of misinformation.

These steps constitute what are now Zuckerbergs usual assurances Facebook is sacrificing its own profits to develop new tools and hire new personnel to combat bad actors that would leverage Facebooks user information for their own fun and profit. Facebook has taken steps before the U.S. election to root out bad actors and will take even more steps nowsince those initial efforts werent enough.

Near the close of his written testimony, Zuckerberg writes: I want to be clear about what our priority is: protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits.

What Zuckerbergs testimony fails to mention, as ever, is whether users themselves will ever be protected from Facebook.

Ultimately Facebooks scandal is about how much the company knows about its users and how much power those users then have to control how Facebook applies (or shares) its knowledge.

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