Commentary

Zuckerberg's gift

24 Apr 2018
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Not since a publisher of note appeared before a bunch of politicians and uttered those immortal words, “this is the most humble day of my life,” have we seen such an apologetic stance from a media mogul. Sure, there was no cream pie in Mark Zuckerberg’s face as he testified before Congress over the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this month (though someone did dress up as a Russian troll) but, just like Rupert Murdoch, Zuckerberg had clearly rehearsed his sorry face. He played the dorky college kid who created Facebook in his dorm room to a tee and, just like Rupert, he even got away with feigning innocence about some of the goings-on in his own company.

But wait, I hear Sheryl Sandberg shuffling her familiar talking points: Facebook isn’t a publisher, and Zuckerberg’s not a media mogul.

Facebook has long maintained that it’s a tech company, not a media company, and doesn’t write the news that appears on the platform. The all-important implication is that, unlike a media company, Facebook needn’t take ultimate responsibility for what it distributes. But Zuckerberg let something slip in the hearing that he’d previously refused to acknowledge.

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2018
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