‘I agree that we’re responsible for the content,’ Zuckerberg Says

   During a combined Senate Judiciary and Senate Commerce Committee hearing entitled: “Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data,” U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today questioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on data privacy concerns. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s line of questioning are below.


SENATOR CORNYN: “Early in the past we’ve been told that platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like are neutral platforms and the people who own and run those for profit, and I’m not criticizing doing something for profit in this country, but they bore no responsibility for the content. You agree now that Facebook and other social media platforms are not neutral platforms but bear some responsibility for the content? “


MARK ZUCKERBERG: “I agree that we’re responsible for the content.”

SEN. CORNYN: “So if I choose to terminate my Facebook account, can I bar Facebook or any third parties from using the data that I had previously supplied for any purpose whatsoever?”

ZUCKERBERG: “Yes, senator. If you delete your account, we should get rid of all of your information.”

SEN. CORNYN: “You should or do you?”


SEN. CORNYN: “How about third parties that you have contracted with to use some of that underlying information perhaps to target advertising for themselves? Do you claw back that information as well, or does that remain in their –“

ZUCKERBERG: “Senator, this is actually a very important question and I’m glad you brought this up because there’s a very common misperception about Facebook that we sell data to advertisers. And we do not sell data to advertisers –“

SEN. CORNYN: “You clearly rent it.” 


Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.