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Mark Zuckerberg has had an interesting couple of days as he faces questioning from US senators regarding digital privacy following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
While fielding questions on data-mining, how Facebook runs as a company and privacy issues, Zuckerberg has also become quite the meme in the past 48-hours.
However, the latest round of jokes being made online aren't about Zuckerberg, but about the senators themselves, with many pointing out that the lawmakers are a lot older than the Facebook founder and are, at times, showing a lack of understanding about the world of social media and tech.
According to Vox, the senators have an average age of 62, whereas Zuckerberg is just 33; people following the questioning have not been unable to notice that the team of senators are perhaps not the most clued-up when it comes to the world of Facebook.
Many people couldn't believe that US lawmakers who regulate technology have such a loose grasp on how things work. Social media users took a break from ripping the back out of Zuckerberg and started taking the piss out of the senators instead.
Some are clear jokes:
"Mr. Zuckerberg, I recently took a test on your site that said my Saved By The Bell character was Screech. I ask you, sir, do you feel I am Screech?" pic.twitter.com/zg6SDQcOhL
- McNeil (@Reflog_18) April 10, 2018
SENATOR: Mr. Zuckerberg I have a very important question
MARK ZUCKERBERG: go ahead Senator
SENATOR: why did my ex-wife Sharon block me on Facebook
MARK ZUCKERBERG: what
SENATOR: also what happened to FarmVille, I liked that game
- Bucky Isotope (@BuckyIsotope) April 10, 2018
ZUCKERBERG: im ready to answer any questions u might have about facebook
84-YEAR-OLD SENATOR: excellent. mr zuckerberg my farmville farm needs more pigs but i cannot figure out where to purchase them
- Bob Vulfov (@bobvulfov) April 10, 2018
"Mr. Zuckerberg, a magazine i recently opened came with a floppy disk offering me 30 free hours of something called America On-Line. Is that the same as Facebook?" pic.twitter.com/U7pqpUhEhQ
- Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) April 10, 2018
However, Senator Orrin Hatch did genuinely ask how Facebook sustained itself as a business when it was free to use. Zuckerberg managed to, mostly, keep a straight face while replying: "Senator, we run ads." To which Sen. Hatch replied: "I see. That's great."
Orrin Hatch to Zuckerberg: "How do you sustain a business model in which users don't pay for your service?" Zuckerberg, stifling a smile: "Senator, we run ads." Sigh. This hearing is like watching a teenager explain Snapchat to his Grandpa.- Eric Deggans at NPR (@Deggans) April 10, 2018
It got even more bizarre when Senator Brian Schatz, who is only 45, asked if Facebook was able to see an 'email' sent over Whatsapp. Zuckerberg confirmed that it could not, explaining that Whatsapp is an encrypted app, which Facebook doesn't have access to.
Senator: If I email on WhatsApp, and use the words "Black Panther", will ads about black panther be shared to my Facebook- :ocean: (@lonelynegr0) April 10, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg: pic.twitter.com/zYQlhqTve5
"When I'm emailing within WhatsApp..."- Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) April 10, 2018
Sen. Shatz then asked if he messaged someone about Black Panther on Whatsapp would he then see adverts about Black Panther on Facebook. Again, Zuckerberg didn't laugh and managed to reiterate that Facebook couldn't see Whatsapp messages.
This meeting at congress is really the gift that keeps on giving.
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