Mark Zuckerberg has for weeks been dealing with the fallout over Cambridge Analytica, which Facebook suspended last month after learning the data firm did not delete data it had inappropriately collected from users who downloaded a personality prediction app. A University of Cambridge psychologist gained access to the data of thousands of Facebook users who downloaded the app – and then passed the information to Cambridge Analytica, a firm that profiles and targets potential voters.
Zuckerberg, who for years has resisted calls to testify before Congress, is about to face tough questions from US lawmakers over two days of congressional hearings at the Capitol, in Washington D.C. And ahead of Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has released the Facebook CEO’s prepared statement.
In that statement, Zuckerberg explains that the company he created has always been an optimistic organization, focusing on connecting people and giving them a voice. But he also admits that the idealist train of thought might have blinded the company to potential misuses of Facebook’s toolset.
But it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.
Those prepared remarks also go over both the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the russian election interference, thoroughly explaining what happened in each situation and what Facebook is doing to solve these problems.
Mark Zuckerberg’s prepared remarks can be read below.