The social media mogul Mark Zuckerberg was interrogated by 44 senators allocated roughly five minutes each and it made for a pretty intense five hours.
A lot of people were shocked by how many senators came unprepared or uninformed, making Zuckerberg’s ride a lot smoother than it should have been. Here are the weirdest talking points from the hearing and the internet’s reaction to them.
It probably began as an attempt by observers to read Zuckerberg’s expressions for signs of nervousness or distress, but it ended up with many people concluding that Zuckerberg may not be 100 percent human.
This moment came when Senator Orrin Hatch, 84, used his five minutes to reveal he had in fact done no research whatsoever before entering the hearing.
Senator Hatch: “How do you sustain a business model in which users don’t pay for your service?”
Zuckerberg: “Senator, we run ads.” (Cue awkward smile)
Senator Hatch: “I see. That’s great.”
Facepalm moments included when Senator Lindsey Graham asked Zuckerberg if Facebook had a monopoly followed by: “Is Twitter the same as what you do?”; when Senator Roger Wicker revealed he had no understanding of “cookies” and when Senator Chuck Grassley asked if a floppy disk magazine giveaway was “the same as Facebook”.
Ironically, it was an analogy about violation of privacy that gave the Facebook chief a bit of a laugh, albeit a stilted one.
Senator Durbin: “Mr. Zuckerberg, would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?
Zuckerberg: “Uh, no.” (Cue uneasy chuckle)
Senator Durbin: “If you messaged anybody this week would you share with us the names of the people you messaged?”
Zuckerberg: “Senator, no, I would probably not choose to do that publicly here.”
Senator Durbin: “I think that maybe what this is all about.”
Zuckerberg has been trolled relentlessly about the extra padding on his seat but again the skeptical claim it’s just another way of making Zuckerberg appear more childlike, more vulnerable and, well, less evil. So even when people joked about him trying to “look like a big boy” it gave the impression he was a little boy.