Apr 10, 2018

Capitol Hill's early reviews for Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg on Capitol Hill on Monday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Lawmakers who met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday said they found him “personable” and “forthright” but still expect to have plenty of questions for him when he testifies this week.

Why it matters: Tomorrow is a big test for Zuckerberg, who has never appeared before Congress, and for lawmakers, who have never engaged this publicly with the issues plaguing Facebook and other online platforms.

What they’re saying:

  • “I thought he was personable and I get the sense that he gets it,” said Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R). “I think he realizes that they’ve got a lot of explaining to do and I think he’s anxious to take it head on.”
  • Thune said that lawmakers were weighing regulation — noting at one point that Europe is about to implement strict new privacy rules — but indicated they were still gathering information.
  • Thune's Democratic counterpart, Sen. Bill Nelson, said at a press conference that Zuckerberg had struck him as “forthright.”
  • “But I think particularly the message that I wanted to convey to him [was] that if we don’t rein in the misuse of social media, none of us are going to have any privacy anymore,” Nelson said.

Others were more tight-lipped about their meetings. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R) said the purpose of the meeting was “just to go over the process" with the Facebook CEO.

What’s next: Zuckerberg goes before a joint Senate Commerce and Judiciary hearing on Tuesday afternoon, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday morning.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,490,954 — Total deaths: 345,962 — Total recoveries — 2,228,915Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,662,250 — Total deaths: 98,218 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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