Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stumbling with a series of challenging questions during yesterday’s hearing on Libra at the US House.
The 30-year-old New Yorker criticised Zuckerberg for failing to deal with political misinformation that was spread on Facebook during the 2016 election campaign.
Zuckerberg stated in the hearing that Facebook does not fact-check political adverts on the social media platform.
Ocasio-Cortez responded by asking: “Could I pay to to target predominantly black zip codes and pay to advertise to them the incorrect election date?”
“No, congresswoman, you couldn’t,” Zuckerberg replied sheepishly, before Ocasio Cortez added: “But you said you’re not going to fact check my ads.”
Zuckerberg also came unstuck on the issue of his alleged ties to political hate groups, with Facebook’s official fact-checker having connections to white supremacists.
“Can you explain why you have named the Daily Caller, a publication well documented with ties to white supremacists as an official fact checker for Facebook?” Ms Ocasio-Cortez asked.
"So, you won't take down lies or you will take down lies? I think that's just a pretty simple yes or no."
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 23, 2019
The Facebook CEO was clearly flustered by Ocasio-Cortez’s line of questioning as he appeared to turn around for assistance from his aides.
He eventually mustered the courage reply, although he expertly passed the buck instead of directly answering the question.
“Congresswoman I would say that we’re not the ones assessing that standard, the International Fact Checking Network is the one setting that standard,” Zuckerberg said.
The hearing did not only scrutinise Facebook, the company’s proposed cryptocurrency – Libra – also came under the spotlight as the house lamented the inflated risk it would pose to money laundering and criminality.
Congressman Brad Sherman said that Libra is “a tool for tax evaders and drug dealers” and that “the US Dollar is an excellent currency that serves all needs”.
For more coverage from the Zuckerberg’s hearing, click here.