Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t wasting any time serving in the US Congress.
She’s on a mission to back bold, progressive policies, hold corruption to account and call out the rampant bullshit that’s a daily occurrence in US politics right now.
Her latest victory came in the form of an epic grilling of Facebook CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday.
In an exchange which left Zuckerberg red-faced and floundering, AOC called out Facebook’s reluctance to police politically-motivated advertising and propaganda, as well as its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal which heavily impacted the results of the 2016 election.
Zuckerberg was caught even more off guard by AOC’s excellent interrogation given the hearing in front of the US House of Representatives financial services committee was intended to be about the launch of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra.
But Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t about to let such a crucial opportunity pass her by.
“In order for us to make decisions about Libra, I think we need to kind of dig into your past behaviour and Facebook’s past behaviour with respect to our democracy,” she said, before asking Zuckerberg when he had first learned of Cambridge Analytica’s operations.
Zuckerberg flailed, claiming he wasn’t sure of the exact time but that he’d learned of Cambridge Analytica “around the time [the news] became public … around March of 2018”.
But when probed by New York’s Congresswoman further, he failed to confirm whether any of those on his leadership team had been aware of the firm before news broke on the 11th of December 2015.
“I believe some folks were tracking it internally,” Zuckerberg stammered. “I do think I was aware of Cambridge Analytica as an entity earlier, but I don’t know if I was tracking how they were using Facebook specifically.”
A steely AOC questioned Zuckerberg’s apparent amnesia on the topic.
“You don’t know? This was the largest data scandal with respect to your company, that had catastrophic impacts on the 2016 election… you don’t know?” she posed incredulously.
Ocasio-Cortez then went on to query Facebook’s policy on political advertising and that specifically employed to impede democracy. Could she pay for instance to advertise an incorrect election date to people in a primarily black zip code?
A dry-mouthed Zuckerberg reached for his bottle of water before neglecting to answer whether the company would take down outright lies as part of political advertisements.
“So, you won’t take down lies or you will take down lies? I think that’s just a pretty simple yes or no,” said Ocasio-Cortez after firing multiple examples at the Facebook Chief.
You can watch the full exchange here, and we suggest you do if you want the best start to your weekend.
“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