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Facebook testifies: The questions Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t answer

It’s probably fair to say Mark Zuckerberg did not particularly enjoy his Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Instead of walking around and seeing the sights, of which there are many, he spent hours being grilled by Congress about a variety of issues.

Topics discussed ranged from the Cambridge Analytica scandal to overall privacy issues, data collection, how the site should be regulated and even any potential political bias within its walls.

In roughly five hours, Zuckerberg made points of his own while answering a slew of questions. While that seems like a long time, Zuckerberg was back at it again, albeit with a different committee, on Wednesday.

During that session, the company’s co-founder, chairman and CEO said he was among the nearly 90 million people whose data was compromised. To see if your information was part of the breach, click here.

Regardless of Zuckerberg being involved on that level, and whether or not you are yourself, the story is only moving forward. However, while Zuckerberg was in the nation’s capitol to answer questions, what he didn’t say is also worthy of attention.

What didn’t get answered?

Zuckerberg’s written testimony can be read here, and while in it he took responsibility for what has transpired, it was not until the questions began where we really got an idea of what he was thinking.

As it turned out, much of what he thought was along the lines of being unable to answer the questions.

Among the questions, he had no answer for one about whether any Facebook employees worked with Cambridge Analytica while the company was working with the Trump campaign. Another was about whether specific “unverified divisive pages” were or were not created by Russian groups.

Zuckerberg also did not give answers to how long Facebook keeps user data after they delete their Facebook or Instagram accounts, nor would he provide details on how Facebook plans on accounting for organizations based outside of the U.S. when it comes to providing transparency with political ads on the site.

What was not answered, but may soon be

While Zuckerberg did not provide answers to some questions, there were others where senators requested a follow-up answer.

Presumably, he will have to get back to them with thoughts on a 72-hour rule to notify users of any data breach and whether there should be financial penalties when they occur. There was also discussion about creating legislation to prevent Facebook from having a monopoly on the industry as well as a law that says users should own their own data, thereby forcing sites like Facebook to have stronger and affirmative opt-in requirements.

About Facebook’s political leanings

Anyone who has been on Facebook at any time over the last couple years understands it has become a fairly political place based on people’s posts. However, there are also some who believe the site itself has a political lean.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz grilled Zuckerberg on that idea over the course of nearly six minutes:

Facebook’s privacy issues should be very concerning to you

Zuckerberg did say that a paid version of Facebook could be on the horizon

Facebook is trying to figure out how to clean up the giant mess that it’s in, and get this, you might have to start paying to use its site as a result. Click here to learn more about what could be in store for the popular social media site.

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