Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress on Tuesday, April 10 to testify regarding the data breach of millions of users' data leading up to the 2016 presidential election. As stressful as this is, these Social Network memes about Zuckerberg's testimony are worth having a laugh over. Tuesday's hearing focused on user data, privacy protections, and the role of political actors in the digital age.
Zuckerberg's testimony comes following a statement by Facebook on April 4 that British-based political data firm Cambridge Analytica had allegedly swiped the data of some 87 million users during the campaign season, according to The New York Times. The firm, which was found to have ties to the campaign of President Donald Trump, had used a third-party app through Facebook to obtain the data.
In his remarks, released by Congress on Tuesday, Zuckerberg, referring to the tools that allowed the data breaches to transpire, said, "It's clear now that we didn't do enough to prevent these tools for being used as harm as well. That goes for fake news, for interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy. We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake and it was my mistake and I'm sorry. I started Facebook, I run it and I'm responsible for what happens here."
Per CNN, Zuckerberg, 33, had a big audience on Capitol Hill, with 44 senators in attendance, as well as a serious swath of press. From afar, users online watched as the CEO gave his testimony — and there was no shortage of jokes.
Many users all drew the same parallel, referencing the 2010 film The Social Network. Written by Aaron Sorkin, the film is based on the humble beginnings of Zuckerberg's now two-billion-user platform and the ensuing legal battle between Harvard University-age Zuckerberg and two of his entrepreneurial peers.
"Did these senators not watch The Social Network?," tweeted Liz Dwyer, managing editor for Shondaland. "Cos some of these questions for #Zuckerberg...."
Multiple users, in their tweets about Tuesday's Congressional testimony, referenced a scene in the movie when young Zuckerberg is brought before a panel of university officials after being charged with violating school policy.
"Aaron Sorkin already wrote the script for this!," tweeted University of Pennsylvania professor Alan Cole, sharing a screenshot of the movie script.
In the movie, the character Zuckerberg says in his defense, "I've already apologized ... As for any charges stemming from the breach of security, I believe I deserve some recognition from this board."
BuzzFeed editor Louis Peitzman shared another movie clip from a scene in which Zuckerberg gives a salty response during a deposition.
Others make jokes about a standout line from the film, where Justin Timberlake, playing Napster co-founder Sean Parker, says, "A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? ... A billion-dollar valuation."
Other users also joked that the testimony would make for great fodder for a potential sequel to the movie. (Hopefully Sorkin was watching from wherever he was.)
As for the real-life Facebook, Zuckerberg said in his statement that they became aware of Cambridge Analytica's data-harvesting practice in 2015, but learned from news reports earlier this year that the firm might still have those caches of data.
"Cambridge Analytica claims they have already deleted the data and has agreed to a forensic audit by a firm we hired to investigate this," Zuckerberg says. "We're also working with the UK Information Commissioner;s Office, which has jurisdiction over Cambridge Analytica, as it completes its investigation into what happened."
More to come.