The House Came To Play: Mark Zuckerberg’s Testimony Pt.2

In a genuinely shocking twist, Zuckerberg’s House of Representatives hearing actually appeared to be a real hearing instead of one of the technology tutorials they offer local seniors at the Apple Store. It seems like members of the House might have googled Facebook before this hearing, and realized that they shouldn’t call it “the Facebook.” This is progress, people! Let’s discuss the most exciting moments and the new information the House was able to pry out of Zuck’s cold, alien hands:

1. From TBD to IDK

Building on Day 1’s genius rhetorical strategy of “my people will get back to you,” Zuckerberg rolled out the even more iconically shady response of “idk” on day 2. Luckily, the Representatives actually weren’t having it and Debbie Dingell honestly gave Shonda Rhimes a run for her money with a Grey’s style rant listing all the incredibly central facets of his company’s operations that Zuck claims not to know. I’m just going to give you the full transcript of this one, because it’s hilarious:

“As CEO you didn’t know some key facts. You didn’t know about court cases regarding privacy and your company. You didn’t know that the FTC doesn’t have fining. You didn’t know what a shadow profile is. You don’t know how many apps you need to audit. You don’t know what other companies were sold the Kogan data, even though you were asked that yesterday. You don’t even know how many kinds of information you’re logging.”

2. Even More IDK

While we’re here, a few other things Zuck claimed not to know today include:

Who Facebook’s own Head of News Partnerships is.

Whether Facebook shares its internal audits with the FTC.

What the question “are you willing to change your business model in the interest of protecting individual privacy?” means.

Literally, he responded to that question with “I’m not sure what that means.” It means not selling advertisers the information that I Googled ‘how to lose 5 pounds in a week’ so they can spam my feed with Kayla Itsines videos. It also means not selling my demographic info and private messages to political operatives trying to install a racist misogynist as president and destroy America! Feel free to DM me if you have any other questions about this one, Zuck.

3. Users Control Content, not Data

In addition to ‘idk,’ Zuckerberg also responded to Representative Castor’s inquiry about whether Facebook collects personal information on people who don’t have accounts by, according to the Guardian “mumbling vaguely.” Why is Zuckerberg in Congress literally me hungover in a freshmen seminar. He also kept insisting that users control the content they post whenever someone attempts to ask about the full scale burn books of associated meta-data and inferences based on browsing history that facebook has amassed on us. This is embarrassing.

4. Facebook is Still Open to Regulation

Again, Zuckerberg seemed open to regulation. He did not discount the idea of a Digital Consumer Protection Agency, while maintaining that the “details on this really matter.” Unlike, apparently, the details on all our stolen personal information and the myriad ways Facebook secretly mines our browser history. For sure.

5. The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is Trending

Like every betch returning from her semester abroad, the Representatives are obsessed with Europe and copying their new privacy regulation package, the GDPR. Multiple representatives asked Zuck if he would be enacting the policies in the US. He vacillated on what parts exactly will be put in place.

 

6. Facebook’s Leadership is White AF

Representative GK Butterfield called out Facebook’s lack of diversity in its leadership team, and he came with receipts. He had a screenshot from Facebook’s website of its 5 most senior officials, none people of color.

7. Zuckerberg Thinks You Love Targeted Ads

When asked if he thinks users actually read Facebook’s privacy agreements, Zuckerberg claims most don’t, but this is probably due to the fact that they like seeing “relevant” ads. Yes, nothing brings me more joy than being advertised the choker personalization service my friend was talking about at drinks (although Zuck keeps claiming Facebook doesn’t listen to us talk). You know what I would like even more? Enduring irrelevant ads in my news feed but living in a world where the elections are not influenced by foreign actors! Thanks!

8. Republicans Are Still Asking Pointless Questions

Following in the path forged yesterday by Ted Cruz, conservative representatives continued their campaign to waste our time in 2018. Representatives repeatedly asked about the removal of conservative political pages, and asked why Obama’s 2012 campaign app wasn’t illegal if Cambridge Analytica’s app was. Um, because in one scenario I downloaded an explicitly political app and gave my information to a candidate I supported, and in the other I thought I was taking a personality quiz when I was actually allowing facebook to profit from the sale of my personal details to a consortium of Republican donors?

9. Zuckerberg’s Data Was Stolen Too

Ah, tech billionaires with shockingly bad haircuts and the power to influence over 2 billion people worldwide, they’re just like us.

10. Congress Does Nothing or Over Reacts

I want to end this recap with Representative Billy Long’s Real Housewives level one-liner to Zuck: “Congress is good at two things, doing nothing and over-reacting. We’re getting ready to over-react.”

We’ll have to wait and see if Congress actually decides to over-react instead of doing nothing. Seems unlikely, but you can find me at the bar, where I will be deleting facebook and not geo-tagging, until then.

Images (Giphy 5)

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10 Takeaways So You Can Pretend You Watched Mark Zuckerberg’s Testimony

Welcome to your recap of Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional hearing. Yesterday Cuckerberg (sick burn) apologized a few times, evaded questions like the last bro you asked to define your relationship, and repeatedly congratulated himself for founding Facebook while in college. Umm excuse me but Betches was also founded in a dorm room, and we never compromised the integrity of the American electoral system soooo….who’s the better company? Since I assume you had better things to do than watch this five hour saga, here are some takeaways from Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony.

1. Senators Don’t Get The Internet

The most shocking reveal of the day was the vast majority of Senators’ inability to grasp the basic concept of Facebook. Much like dinner at your grandparents’ nursing home, hours of this hearing consisted of eighty-year-old white dudes attempting to wrap their heads around how Facebook works. Literally, the median age of the investigating committee members was 80. Considering Facebook was invented to help bros rank girls’ attractiveness, you would think a group of largely boarding school educated bros on their deathbeds would get it, but, alas, nah. Senator Orrin Hatch had to be informed that Facebook runs on ads. Cool.

2. Zuckerberg’s Team “Will Get Back To You”

Like you when your boss asks any question, Zuckerberg’s go-to response was “I’ll have my team get back to you.” A sampling of the inquiries to which he offered this response, or the equally laughable “I don’t remember,” include:

How many times has Facebook required an audit to ensure improperly transferred data was deleted?

Why didn’t Facebook alert users to the Cambridge Analytica breach in 2015?

Why are unverified, partisan, potentially fake pages still live on Facebook?

How long does Facebook keep user data after a user deletes their account?

3. Mark Zuckerberg Is Really Sorry

Zuckerberg said Facebook’s non-response to Russian election influencing is one of his “greatest regrets.” One of?! Donald Trump is fucking president, so I’d like to know what Zuckerberg’s other, equally regrettable decisions have led to.

4. Cambridge Analytica Is Still A BFD

Cambridge Analytica, so hot right now. While the Senate seemed confused as to how Facebook works, they definitely knew what Cambridge Analytica is, and they wanted to know what Zuckerberg knew about their breach of data protocol, how long Facebook worked with them, how Facebook planned to prevent future similar debacles, and if any similar data harvesting is currently ongoing by other firms. Zuckerberg gave his classic evasions along with a promise that Facebook is “investigating many apps” which will be banned if they are “doing anything improper.” Sure, sure, sure.

5. Facebook Might Get Regulated

Zuckerberg seemed open to potential regulations. While claiming that Facebook doesn’t “feel” like a monopoly (I would beg to differ, I have no other platform on which to invite people to a pregame or find out what weird EDM DJ the bro I like is going to see this weekend), he maintained his openness to a “conversation” on regulation. He also voiced support for the Honest Ads Act. A lot of feelings and openness here, not a whole lot of concrete solutions.

Dick Durbin might have gotten in the the most savage exchange of the day, asking Zuckerberg if he would be willing to tell the Senate what hotel he stayed at the previous night, and who he had messaged that week. When Zuckerbeg declined, Durbin pointed out that Facebook routinely takes this type of information from its users, noting “how much give away in modern America in the name of quote connecting people.” Ok, did this Senator just say I probably unknowingly gave the Russians what they needed to put Trump in office because I wanted to geotag my vacation and get over 100 likes on an Instagram of brunch?! Fuck.

8. Ted Cruz Is Obsessed With Chick-Fil-A

Ted Cruz continued his 2018 campaign for Satan by wasting everyone’s time and asking if Facebook revealed democratic bias by shutting down the Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day page and Trump supporters Diamond and Silk’s page.

Zuckerberg denied that Facebook listens to audio mined from users’ phones in order to target ads. I straight up don’t believe that. If the Instagram ads I get for boxing gyms fifteen minutes after my annoying coworker brags about how great her workout was at Rumble aren’t proof, I don’t know what is.

9. Corey Booker And Kamala Harris Forever Plz

Corey Booker and Kamala Harris killed it. Booker called out Zuckerberg for targeting ads based on race, and helping law enforcement enact surveillance on activists of color. Harris called him out for evading questions, going IN as follows:

“During the course of this hearing, you’ve been asked several critical questions for which you don’t have answers. Those questions have included: whether Facebook can track activity after a user logs off of Facebook, whether Facebook can track you across devices even when you aren’t logged into Facebook. Who is Facebook’s biggest competition, whether Facebook may store up to 96 categories of users information.”

10. Facebook Has Talked To Mueller

Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook is working with Mueller. Thank fucking god, I needed some good news today.

Oh, and before I go, let me just add that like all short fuckboys, Zuckerberg apparently has a size complex. He testified atop a four inch cushion. Cute.

Well, that was exhausting. Today Zuck is back in Congress to testify in front of the House, a group that might be even dumber and more ineffective than the Senate. I’ll be back with your highlights tomorrow, and then I will promptly be blacking out until next week. You’re welcome.

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!

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A Critical Analysis Of Mark Zuckerberg’s BS Apology

If you haven’t logged onto Facebook in the past day you’ve missed a really really important post. No, not from your #2A loving uncle or grandma who is sharing radical Precious Memories figurine memes, but from the man behind the curtain: Zuckerberg. In what looked like an email I’d immediately delete if it were coming from an ex, Zuck apologized for his mishandling of the Cambridge Analytica situation. And by apologized, we mean “released a statement that does not include the word ‘sorry’ once.”

Don’t know what the Cambridge Analytica situation is? Well, don’t worry because it knows alllll about you. Basically, a dude named Alex Kogan created a Facebook app called “thisisyourdigitallife” that 270,000 aunts and high school classmates downloaded. In the fine print they agreed to let the app get all up in their biz and know intimate details about them like their private messages and what terrible bands they like.  Where it gets shady is that they also agreed to let the app access information about all of their friends, even if those friends didn’t have the app. So those 270,000 people who were tempted to download an app called “thisisyourdigitallife” ruined, like many old high school classmates typically do, your life, too.

This app now had the intimate info of almost 5 million users and breached Facebook law (which includes commenting on a post without liking) by selling all this data to a third party, Cambridge Analytica.  Cambridge Analytica then used the data the collected to create extremely targeted personal ads, with the hope of swaying people’s political opinions. TBH, Cambridge Analytica is like an evil corporation in a Bond film and long story short used that data to put Trump in the White House.

So now we get to Zuck’s “apology”, which, like most Facebook posts, is 10,000 words too long and barely says anything. In his 10x too long post, Zuck barely acknowledges Facebook’s role, while also reminding us how hard it is to run a website. First of all, I know how hard it is to run a website. I had a hugely popular Xanga at one point in my life. Second of all, there’s no mention in his note that is like, “we’re sorry the world has to suffer through a man who thinks teachers should have guns to shoot bad students because we couldn’t keep good enough check on personality quizzes that were mining your opinions on abortions.”

At one point, Facebook did approach Kogan and be like, uhm we saw that you secretly looped Cambridge Analytica into all this info, like some sort of bitchy three way call scenario, and that is illegal, make sure they delete all the data. And Cambridge Analytica was like “we deleted the data, we swear!” But never trust a shady ho! They did not, I repeat, did not delete the data! Like your friend who is continually cheated on by the same guy, aound fifteen paragraphs into Zuckerberg’s fake apology he’s like, “can you believe they lied to me?” Like, yes of course we believe it, these people are associated with Kellyanne Conway. Her blood is just liquid lies!

Ultimately, Zuckerberg admits he is responsible for what happens on Facebook and takes full responsibility, which is nice. But if that is the case then he is fully responsible for how few likes my recent profile picture received because that is a scandal all in itself. Figure out this whole robbing the election mess and I’d love to talk to him about that once he’s done.

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!

We’ve Found A Way To Clap Back At Facebook’s Shady Behavior

After news broke of Facebook low-key giving data on over 50 million users to Cambridge Analytica, a firm that was casually used by the Trump campaign in 2016, we at the Betches Sup couldn’t help but think, “why are we fucking with Facebook in the first place?” Like, do I really need to be connected with every person from my high school, my college ex, and every cousin I barely talk to that badly?

And let’s not forget all the fake news that was spread on Facebook during the election, and following the events in Parkland, where articles claiming the student victims were actually paid political protesters ran rampant. TBH, much like your ex, Facebook has been getting away with shady behavior for way too long, and it’s time we did something about it.

That’s why Betches Sup is proud to announce our #BlackOutWithUs campaign, where we’ll be standing in protest of Facebook’s abusive policies, as well as supporting the students of Parkland, by turning our Facebook black for one day.

Omg How Can I Participate?

It’s literally so easy. All you have to do is log in to Facebook on 4/20/18 (the day of the next national school walkout), change your Facebook profile picture to a black box, and then log the f out and live your life. (It’s also 4/20 so like…you know what we mean when we say “live your life”.)

Here are some images you can use. Because who has time to be creative?

WTF Will This Do To Help?

Well I mean, it’s a symbolic gesture. The point is to show Facebook that if they’re going to feed us fake news and shadily pass our data off without our consent, then they’re not going to get our clicks anymore. No more clicks, no more Facebook. It’s as simple as that. Will this fix Facebook’s problem in one day? Nah, but we want to show them that we’re watching their shady asses, and toootally could leave if we wanted.

 

What About 4/21?

The Betches Sup will no longer post on our Facebook page after the black out. But like, you do you.

So join us 4/20/18 to let Facebook know we’re over their shady nonsense, and stay tuned here and in The Betches Sup newsletter for more info on how you can participate.

And yes, we do know that Instagram is owned by Facebook.

#BlackOutWithUs

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!

Here’s Why Everyone Is So Pissed At Facebook Today

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but then again that is literally my job. As it turns out, Facebook has bigger problems than being the social media platform where your racist ex from high school posts his engagement album with pics of him and his betrothed at a horse barn. According to a story from The New York Times, Trump consultants hired a British firm to harvest private data from Facebook users to help shape their campaign strategies. So basically, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica low-key harvested your data, and that date was used to benefit the Trump campaign. It’s a long story, so I’ll sum it up for you here, and I’ll try to keep the “blah, blah, blah I’m a virgin who works in tech” jargon to a minimum and the shady, hot goss to a maximum. You’re welcome.

WTF Happened?

Girl, where do I even begin? I guess I’ll start with the guy with a striking resemblance to aged gorgonzola cheese: Steve Bannon. Back in 2014, Bannon was working as the political adviser to a Republican donor named Robert Mercer. Mercer invested a casual $15 million in a company called Cambridge Analytica in exchange for the tools to obtain information about American voters through their social media profiles. According to former employees, Cambridge Analytica obtained this information from Facebook users without their consent. Apparently the company had a knack for being like, supes edging and not giving a F about the rules. Aka they are shady as hell. The New York Times viewed some of the data that the firm had obtained, and verified that it included details on users’ identities, friend networks and “likes.” Presumably, this information was used to help shape Trump’s campaign. Exploitation of private information, much? Not to mention the fact that the company was mostly run by non-American citizens, and having foreign influence on a political campaign is illegal. I believe the official term for this kind of activity is “shady-ass-MF-shit.”

How TF Did This Happen?

Facebook is in some hot water now because they weren’t smart enough to realize they were handing over a bunch of private information to a guy who was going to use it for purposed involving miles and miles of shade. Cambridge Analytica was sneaky, I’ll give them that. They paid to have the information obtained from Facebook by an outside source, who, according to Facebook, claimed to be using the information for research purposes only. This guy, Aleksander Krogan, had a deal with Cambridge Analytica that he could use the information he got for his own personal research, he just had to hand over the information to them as well. Very reassuring that the tight security over at Facebook allows someone to call them up and be like, “Yo, just doing some research, can I have all of your files plz?” And then Facebook is just like, “Lol sure. Xoxo.”

Should You Be Freaking TF Out?

I mean, in this day in age, probably, yes, always. It’s definitely terrifying that our information can be leaked and handed over to people looking to take advantage of it that easily. Facebook has claimed that once they realized WTF was going on, they contacted Cambridge Analytica and had them delete all of the obtained information immediately. But whether or not that actually happened is up for debate. The good news is our boi Robert S. Mueller III, has requested the emails of Cambridge Analytica employees who worked for the Trump team, and since he is Robert Mueller III, it is the law that those people must hand that shit over. So if illegal, shady shit was done, these bitches are about to be exposed. Who knows, maybe this could be what we need to bring Trump down. And maybe my racist ex and his horse girl fiancee will get divorced. Maybe we really can have it all.

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!

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