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The Questions Congress Must Ask Mark Zuckerberg

If the committee members really want to move the ball forward in terms of what we know about Facebook, here are some questions a Zuckerberg might ask

The Questions Congress Must Ask Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg is probably wearing down his cards as he prepares to be the sole subject of two congressional hearings, 

where lawmakers will take turns questioning the Facebook CEO about policies that allow an app developer to go away and share data inappropriately. over up to 87 million.

 Facebook users. The first is a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on Tuesday. The next day, 

Zuckerberg answers questions from members of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce.

 With no specific wide-ranging legislation on the table, but with much public anger at Facebook, he expects members of Congress to ask tough and sensational questions designed to put the executive on the defensive. 

They will have no shortage of transgressions to focus on. 

There are the fake news that spread on the platform throughout the 2016 campaign and the ways that Russian agents have used Facebook to try to manipulate American voters. 

Or how Facebook, which is the second largest online advertising company in the world, will come to advertisers to explicitly market people's fanaticisms, as their software suggested ad targeting terms like "Jew-haters" and "rape in trio". 

And then there's the reason why Zuckerberg finally gave in to the calls he testified, the scandal involving political data firm Cambridge

P Analytica, in which Facebook data from tens of millions of people was collected from the platform and allegedly used to help the Trump campaign.

 All of this happened under Zuckerberg's direction, with virtually no federal laws that would have protected the privacy of Americans and the health of the nation's information ecosystem. 

Depending on what happens in the hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday, Facebook may not remain unregulated for long. 

The only major legislative proposal currently drafted and seeking support is the Honest Ads Act, championed by Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mark Warner and Republican Senator John McCain. 

That bill would require political ads on Facebook to list who paid for them, just as political ads on radio, print and TV do, and would impose fines on social media companies that don't follow the rules. 

On Friday, Facebook executives said in a blog post that the company supports the Honest Ads Act, although Zuckerberg told Wired last month that he does not expect that bill to pass

. Given the public setback his company is currently facing, that legislation might be the easiest thing to pull off the shelf to show Americans that Facebook will not go through this controversy without consequence.

Throughout both hearings, lawmakers will likely highlight reports on how Facebook's internal culture and policies reveal that the company was aware of how its platform was being misused. 

And yet it decided not to take substantial steps to fix it, while remaining one of the world's most valuable companies with control over miles of millions of people getting information and staying connected to their personal and professional communities.

 If the committee members really want to move the ball forward in terms of what we know about Facebook, here are some questions a Zuckerberg might ask while he's under oath.

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