Apr 10, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: The Dow Jones ended the day up nearly 429 points points.

1 big thing: Zuck vs. Congress, round one

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a joint hearing of Senate committees. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized to lawmakers today for failures in handling user data but didn’t waver in offering a defense of the company’s broader business model or its value to society, Axios' David McCabe reports from Capitol Hill.

From the scene: Reporters are elbow-to-elbow and there's significant public turnout to see Zuckerberg testify. McCabe also spotted several high-level Facebook staffers, including General Counsel Colin Stretch, policy and communications chief Elliot Schrage and Erin Egan, who runs the company's Washington office.

Be smart, from Axios managing editor Kim Hart:

  • Zuckerberg was quick on his feet in answering some tough questions.
  • He took more direct responsibility than he has in the past for monitoring the content on the site.
  • It’s clear he recognizes the real threat of regulation and he understands that he must be (or at least appear to be) willing to play ball.

Quick hits from the hearing, which is still underway:

  • Cambridge Analytica: Zuckerberg said Facebook didn't report the breach to the Federal Trade Commission because they considered it a resolved issue.
  • Zuckerberg said it's possible that the data collected by Cambridge Analytica overlapped with the organization that ran the Russian 2016 election interference campaign.
  • The Russia probe: Zuckerberg confirmed Mueller's team has interviewed Facebook staffers.
  • Facebook's ad-based model: Zuckerberg said there will always be a free version of Facebook and defended the company's revenue streams while talking with Sen. Orrin Hatch.
  • Regulation: Facebook would "welcome the right regulation" and would work with lawmakers to discuss that, Zuckerberg said. He added the company supports the HONEST Ads Act.
  • Anti-trust concerns: Zuckerberg told Sen. Lindsey Graham he doesn't consider the company a monopoly.

P.S: ... Zuck also said this: “I agree that we’re responsible for the content.”

Why that matters, from Axios' Sara Fischer: What separates Facebook from a media company in the traditional sense is that Facebook is not legally responsible for the content on its platform. By admitting that he feels Facebook is responsible for the content, he is making a concession for the first time that Facebook should be held to the same legal standards as that of a traditional media company.

2. What you missed
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Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals
  1. Trump tweet du jour: "Attorney–client privilege is dead!" Background.
  2. A new Goldman Sachs research note suggests that Tesla is not equipped to meet its upcoming targets for production of the mass-market Model 3. Go deeper.
  3. Uber is beginning to roll out a completely redesigned mobile app for drivers. It's the first time it's designed an app Android-first. Details.
  4. Trump won't be attending the Summit of the Americas this weekend. He'll focus on the response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria. Why it matters that he's skipping.
  5. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thinks there is high probability Trump will order a military strike in Syria. More.
3. 1 fun thing

The newest Star Wars movie, "Solo," will open at the Cannes Film Festival. It has an uphill battle to reach its recent box office predecessors.

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Data: Box Office Mojo; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios
Mike Allen