Tuesday, April 10, 2018

WATCH: Sen. Lindsey Graham questions Zuckerberg on competition, consumer awareness, and regulation

Graham: "You don't think you have a monopoly?"

Posted by Sam Spence on Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 4:53 PM


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat down before members of the Senate Judiciary & Commerce Committees today to discuss how the social network he founded has grown to deal with potential multinational threats on their platform as well as consumer privacy and issues related to the 2016 election.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham was among those who had the chance to question Zuckerberg today.

The tech industry watchers at Recode said that Graham was one of the first senators "really getting testy" with the billionaire CEO. Graham's questions centered around the Facebook CEO thinks of his company as having a monopoly over social networking communications and whether the company's expectations for consumer awareness of the network's policies are realistic.

Here's the full transcript with the help of C-Span.
Graham
THANK YOU. ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH ANDREW BOSWELL?

Zuckerberg
YES, SENATOR, I AM.

Graham
HE SAID, SO WE CONNECT MORE PEOPLE, MAYBE SOMEONE DIES IN A TERRORIST ATTACK, COORDINATED ON OUR TOOLS. THE UGLY TRUTH IS WE BELIEVE IN CONNECTING PEOPLE

Zuckerberg
NO, SENATOR, I DO NOT. HAS CONTEXT, BOZ WROTE THAT, HE WROTE THAT AS INTERNAL NOTE. WE HAVE A LOT OF DISCUSSION INTERNALLY. I DISAGREED WITH IT AT Show

Graham
CAN I SAY YOU DID A POOR JOB OF CEO. BECAUSE IF HE UNDERSTOOD ARE YOU WERE AT YOU WOULD HAVE NEVER SAID IT TO BEGIN WITH.

Zuckerberg
WELL, SENATOR, WE TRY TO RUN OUR COMPANY IN A WAY THAT PEOPLE CAN EXPRESS DIFFERENT MACHINESOPINIONS INTERNALLY.

Graham
WELL THIS IS SA OPINION THAT DISTURBS ME AND IF SOMEBODY WORKED FOR ME SAID THIS I WOULD FIRE HIM. WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST COMPETITOR?

Zuckerberg
SENATOR, WE HAVE A LOT OF COMPETITORS.

Graham
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST?

Zuckerberg
I THINK THE CATEGORIES, DID YOU WANT ONE? I I'M NOT SURE I CAN GIVE ONE. BUT CAN I GIVE A BUNCH?

Graham
UH-HUH.

Zuckerberg
THREE CATEGORIES I WOULD FOCUS ON. ONE ARE THE OTHER TECH PLT FOORMS, GOOGLE, APPLE, MICROSOFT, WE OVERLAP.

Graham
DO THEY PROVIDE THE SAME SERVICE?

Zuckerberg
IN DIFFERENT WAYS, DIFFERENT PARTS OF IT, YES.

Graham
LET ME PUT IT THIS WAY. IF I BUY A FORD AND IT DOESN'T WORK WELL AND I DON'T LIKE IT I CAN BUY A CHEVY. IF I'M UPSET WITH FACEBOOK, WHAT'S EQUIVALENT PRODUCT THAT I CAN GO SIGN UP FOR?

Zuckerberg
WELL, THE SECOND CATEGORY THAT I WAS GOING TO TALK ABOUT.

Graham
I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT CATEGORIES, WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT IS IS THERE REAL COMPETITION YOU FACE? BECAUSE CAR COMPANIES FACE A LOT OF COMPETITION. IF THEY MAKE A DEFECTIVE CAR, GETS OUT IN THE WORLD, PEOPLE STOP BUYING THAT CAR, THEY BUY ANOTHER ONE. IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE TO FACEBOOK IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR?

Zuckerberg
YES, SENATOR. THE AVERAGE AMERICAN USES EIGHT DIFFERENT APPS TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEIR FRIENDS AND STAY IN TOUCH WITH PEOPLE.

Graham
OKAY.

Zuckerberg
RANGING FROM TEXT.

Graham
WHICH IS THE SAME SERVICE YOU PROVIDE?

Zuckerberg
WE PROVIDE A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT SERVICES.

Graham
IS TWITTER THE SAME AS WHAT YOU DO?

Zuckerberg
IT OVERLAPS WHAT A PORTION OF WHAT WE DO.

Graham
YOU DON'T FEEL YOU HAVE A MONOPOLY?

Zuckerberg
CERTAINLY DOESN'T FEEL LIKE THAT TO ME.

Graham
SO IT DOESN'T. SO YOU BOUGHT INSTAGRAM? WHY DID YOU BUY INSTAGRAM?

Zuckerberg
BECAUSE TLE WERE TALENTED APP DEVELOPERS MAKING GOOD USE OF OUR PLATFORM AND UNDERSTOOD OUR VALUES.

Graham
IT WAS A GOOD BUSINESS DECISION. MY POINT IS IT ONE WAY TO REGULATE IS THROUGH COMPETITION, GOVERNMENT REGULATION. HERE'S THE QUESTION THAT ALL OF US GOTTA ANSWER. WHAT DO WE TELL OUR CONSTITUENTS GIVEN WHAT'S HAPPENED HERE, WHY WE SHOULD LET YOU SELF REGULATE? WHAT WOULD YOU TELL PEOPLE IN SOUTH CAROLINA GIVEN ALL OF THE THINGS WE'VE JUST DISCOVERED HERE [THAT] IT'S A GOOD IDEA FOR US TO RELY UPON YOU TO REGULATE YOUR OWN BUSINESS PRACTICES?

Zuckerberg
WELL, SENATOR, MY POSITION IS NOT THAT THERE SHOULD BE NO REGULATION.

Graham
OKAY.

Zuckerberg
I THINK THE INTERNET —

Graham
DO YOU EMBRACE REGULATION? ZBLI THINK THE REAL QUESTION HAS THE INTERNET BECOMES MORE IMPORTANT IN PEOPLE'S LIVES WHAT IS THE RIGHT REGULATION?

Graham
BUT YOU AS A COMPANY WELCOME REGULATION?

Zuckerberg
I THINK IF IT'S A RIGHT REGULATION THEN YES.

Graham
DO YOU THAT THE EUROPEANS HAVE IT RIGHT?

Zuckerberg
I THINK THEY IS GET THINGS RIGHT.

GRAHAM
HAVE YOU EVER SUBMITTED — THAT'S TRUE. SO WOULD YOU WORK WITH US IN TERMS OF WHAT REGULATIONS YOU THINK ARE NECESSARY IN YOUR INDUSTRY?

Zuckerberg
ABSOLUTELY.

Graham
OKAY. WOULD YOU SUBMIT TOO US SOME PROPOSED REGULATIONS?

Zuckerberg
YES. AND I'LL HAVE MY TEAM FOLLOW UP WITH YOU SO WE CAN HAVE THIS DISCUSSION.

Graham
LOOK FORWARD TO IT. WHEN YOU SIGN UP FOR FACEBOOK, YOU SIGN UP FOR TERMS OF SERVICE. ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THAT?

Zuckerberg
YES.

Graham
OKAY. IT SAYS 'THE TERMS GOVERN YOUR USE OF FACEBOOK AND FEATURES, TECHNOLOGY, SOFTWARE WE OFFER FACEBOOK PRODUCTS ARE PRODUCTS EXCEPT WHERE WE EXPRESSLY STATE THAT SEPARATE TERMS AND NOT THESE APPLY.' I'M A LAWYER AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT MEANS. BUT WHEN YOU LOOK AT TERMS OF SERVICE, THIS IS WHAT YOU GET. DO YOU THINK THE AVERAGE CONSUMER UNDERSTANDS WHAT THEY'RE SIGNING UP FOR?

Zuckerberg
I DON'T THINK THE AVERAGE PERSON LIKELY READS THAT WHOLE DOCUMENT. BUT THERE ARE DIFFERENT WAYS WE CAN COMMUNICATE THAT AND HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO DO SO.


Graham
DO YOU AGREE WITH ME YOU BETTER COME UP WITH DIFFERENT WAYS? BECAUSE THIS AIN'T WORKING?

Zuckerberg
WELL, SENATOR, I THINK IN CERTAIN AREAS THAT IS TRUE. AND I THINK IN OTHER AREAS LIKE THE CORE PART OF WHAT WE DO. IF YOU THINK ABOUT THE MOST BASIC LEVEL, PEOPLE COME TO FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM WHATSAPP MESSENGER ABOUT 100 BILLION TIMES A DAY TO SHARE A PIECE OF CONTENT OR A MESSAGE WITH A SPECIFIC SET OF PEOPLE. AND I THINK THAT THAT BASIC FUNCTIONALITY PEOPLE UNDERSTAND BECAUSE WE HAVE THE CONTROLS INLINE EVERYTIME AND GIVEN THE VOLUME OF THE ACTIVITY AND THE VALUE OF THE ACTIVITY PEOPLE TELL US THAT THEY'RE GETTING FROM THAT, I THINK THAT THAT CONTROL INLINE DOES SEEM TO BE WORKING FAIRLY WELL. NOW, WE CAN ALWAYS DO BETTER. AND THE SERVICES ARE COMPLEX AND THERE IS MORE TO IT THAN JUST 'YOU GO AND YOU POST A PHOTO.' SO, I AGREE THAT IN MANY PLACES WE CAN DO BETTER, BUT I THINK FOR THE CORE OF THE SERVICE IT ACTUALLY IS QUITE CLEAR.

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