April 9, 2018

Prepping for his testimony in Congress tomorrow, Zuckerberg takes a "crash course in humility and charm."

The Economic Times reports that Facebook hired "a team of experts, including a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, to put Zuckerberg, 33, a cerebral coder who is uncomfortable speaking in public, through a crash course in humility and charm. The plan is that when he sits down before the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees Tuesday, Zuckerberg will have concrete changes to talk about, and no questions he can’t handle."

Remember the terrible impression Bill Gates made when he did a deposition in the government's antitrust case against Microsoft, back in 1998, when his company was hot to beat Netscape in the browser business? Here's WaPo at the time:
A testy and fidgety Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates made another electronic appearance at the antitrust trial of his company yesterday, giving answers that were alternately combative and forgetful as he fielded questions in a videotaped deposition about rival Internet software products.

His responses, which included quibbles about the definitions of such words as "concerned" and "compete," prompted the judge hearing the case to chortle and shake his head in disbelief....

Microsoft officials say that Gates responded in the same way that any company leader would in a similar situation, trying to focus questions so that he could give precise answers....
The government (in the form of David Boies) was out to make Gates look dishonest and conniving its own special theater (the court system), and the government (in the form of some Senators) will try to do that to Zuckerberg, who at least is taking the precaution of getting special training in how to perform in the theater that is the U.S. Senate.

ADDED: You can read Zuckerberg's prepared testimony here. Key quote:
"We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here."
I note the Trumpianly short phrases and clear speech. As with Trump, of course, the relationship between those crisp words and what he really knows, feels, or intends to do is completely ambiguous.

65 comments:

rhhardin said...

I'm a world-class great coder and full of charm.

MadisonMan said...

Will the hearing be on Facebook Live?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Shorter Facebook grovel: We are so sorry we let anyone trick the minds of Americans into thinking anything negative about wonderful honest Hillary. She isn't a Satan and we know that Russians interfered with Americans using mind control and the Facebook portal.
Only Obama and the democrats are allowed to use the Facebook platform. Amen.

David Begley said...

Watch for a Congressman bring up the banning of Diamond and Silk from FB.

I predict a bloodbath.

It makes no difference what Zuck says. The TV clips will all be of the questions. Lose-lose.

If I had some money, I might even short FB going into the hearings.

rhhardin said...

Curiously, my usenet news reader to this day is Netscape. See? [help/about/copy/paste]

Netscape Navigator (TM)
Version 2.02
Copyright © 1994-1995 Netscape Communications Corporation, All rights reserved.

works on XP.


rehajm said...

Deposition and Congressional testimony are not equivalents. They differ in goals and therefore strategy. The official Microsoft statement is correct. What Gates did was about what you'd expect when being deposed. 'Testy' and 'fidgety' are commentary from WaPo.

rehajm said...

When Zuck spoke to a crowd at an academic institution in China he charmed them by speaking Chinese. Maybe that will work on Congress too?

Matthew Sablan said...

I think the focus on Trump's campaign will be interesting, but I bet some pointed questions about how much Facebook weighed in on the other side and past campaigns as well.

I think Carol Davidsen should be asked to testify too, since: "[Davidsen] also said that Facebook officials came to the campaign offices after the election recruiting Obama's tech team, and that "they were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn't have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.""

Bob Boyd said...

Hope they don't get so busy trying to add charm to Zuckerberg's program that they forget to put in fresh batteries.

The Germans Have A Word For That. said...

Bob Boyd: damn, you are good.

Mike Sylwester said...

The hysteria about some Facebook ads affecting the 2016 election is surreal.

Our experience is somewhat similar to that of people who lived in the Soviet Union in the 1930s and were informed constantly by their mass media that a few "wreckers" were sabotaging the Soviet economy.

Now we here and now are being informed constantly that some Internet trolls are wrecking the USA's elections.

We are supposed to believe that Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election because some Russians -- with the collusion of Donald Trump -- bought some Facebook ads.

The Democratic Party has become the John Birch Society of the 21st Century.

Mike Sylwester said...

How come the CEO of MySpace is not being questioned by Congress?

What is MySpace doing to prevent Russians from meddling in our elections?

chickelit said...

Media and Congress curry favor with public. Coders favoring curry mortified.

Crimso said...

Zuck allegedly said that Twitter was a "clown car that accidentally crashed into a gold mine." Having recently finished "Chaos Monkeys," I got the impression the same is true of FB.

Bob Boyd said...

"Facebook hired "a team of experts, including a former special assistant to President George W. Bush"

I notice they didn't bring in Hillary's charm instructor.

tcrosse said...

He should make sure to put on a clean t-shirt.

Nonapod said...

I don't know how you could make a nasty little goblin like Zuck charming, but it's all pointless theater anyway. People need to blame someone for something for whatever reason. And the various fauna in Congress relish any opportunity to grandstand a bit. But nothing real will come of it.

LYNNDH said...

Smoke and Mirrors. FB will still go on its merry way and root out any and all Conservative types. Someone should ask him about the wall he wanted to build around his Hawaii compound.

Nonapod said...

Zuckerberg should just pay Jesse Eisenberg to give his testimony. No doubt many of the morons in Congress probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway.

Bob Boyd said...

The congresspersons don't know much about how Facebook works, but they do know Facebook was supposed to be helping Hillary and not Trump.
Zuckabug is in for a spanking that won't stop until the tears come. The other kids are watching.

AllenS said...

His [Bill Gates] responses, which included quibbles about the definitions of such words as "concerned" and "compete," prompted the judge hearing the case to chortle and shake his head in disbelief....

"It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is" -- BJ Clinton 1998

mccullough said...

My advice is don’t be a pussy. Roger Clemens slapped around Congress during his testimony. He got charged with lying to Congress and was acquitted. You have to give these assholes the back of the hand. Repeatedly remind them that as institution they are deeply unpopular with the public. When they talk about lies spread through Facebook platform tell them you aren’t responsible for Congress repeated lies to the US public and that it’s as hard to police the lies of Russian bots as it is to police the lies of Congress.

Remind them of the massive debt and unfounded liabilities they have heaped on the coming generations and that no amount of distraction of Facebook changes the fact that they are despicable cowards.

Turn the tables on these assholes and then flip over your table and walkout. Or your a pussy who deserves to have his company taken down

madAsHell said...

What is MySpace doing to prevent Russians from meddling in our elections?

I did not know......myspace.com is still a thing!!

Unknown said...

Would be awesome if he spoke using only tech jargon and acronyms.

-sw

Ralph L said...

No one will recognize him in a suit.
Assuming he wears one.

Jeff Weimer said...

Zuckerborg patch update 1.18.2.b1 "humility and charm" uploading.......

BADuBois said...

To misquote a great movie, "We're gonna need bigger humility and charm."

Sebastian said...

"the government (in the form of some Senators) will try to do that to Zuckerberg"

Will there be a quiz beforehand, just to make sure the questioners know what they are talking about?

Seeing Zuck questioned by Senators is one of the few things that could make me even mildly sympathetic toward him and FB.

Gordon Scott said...

Is David Boies a modern-day Forrest Gump? He sure seems to show up everywhere.

Bob Boyd said...

@ The Germans Have A Word For That.

Thanks. High praise coming from you.

jwl said...

I am curious to see whether Zuckerberg shows up wearing his usual jeans and t-shirt or will he dress more formal as part of his charm offensive.

rehajm said...

Zuckerberg should just pay Jesse Eisenberg to give his testimony. No doubt many of the morons in Congress probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway.

Heh. yah. It won't be about Zuck, anyways. When the lefties Congress critters are up to bat it will all be about how Trump stole the election from Hillary. When the GOPe's are up they'll have pointed questions Zuck can deflect by talking about 'passwords' and 'profiles'. You know, technical jargon that will completely flummox them.

WK said...

Maybe a sequel coming. “The Social Network 2: Mr. Congeniality”

Jim Gust said...

I expect Facebook to go the way of MySpace momentarily.

The notion that Cambridge Analytica had any effect on the election is laughable. The two critical moments were the "deplorable" speech and Hillary collapsing at the 9/11 ceremony and making up a story about having the flu to cover it.

Did Cambridge cause those? Nope. Did Facebook amplify them? That's not how I remember it.

rhhardin said...

T-shirt is okay but jeans is overstylish. Go with bermudas. More comfortable.

rhhardin said...

Miss Congeniality 2 was a huge disappointment. They dumped the boyfriend in the first minute. No romance.

daskol said...

Diamond and Silk need to be there in the audience.

Michael K said...

Seeing Zuck questioned by Senators is one of the few things that could make me even mildly sympathetic toward him and FB.

Does anyone else remember Senator Foghorn from the old Fred Allen show on radio ?

The cartoons picked up the character.,

That's what Senators look like.

buwaya said...

Gates learned he needed to pay off politicians.
Then they wouldn't bother him again.
Hence deals like MSNBC, which was an influence operation.
MS dumped it when they figured it was no longer needed.

He is not the sort to take an interest in politics as such, which is a point in his favor.

Ken B said...

Pox
Both houses

Ken B said...

“Mr Zuckerberg, can you explain how two African American women who support a candidate are a danger to the community but secretly selling data from millions of private messages to foreign companies is not.”

Ann Althouse said...

"The official Microsoft statement is correct. What Gates did was about what you'd expect when being deposed. 'Testy' and 'fidgety' are commentary from WaPo."

I agree, but Microsoft got a lot of bad PR, and that is something the company should want to protect itself about. But winning the lawsuit was overwhelmingly important.

Rick said...

This story is still vastly overstated.

The data is used to target people, but most people who look at their data find it's wrong in material respects. Further targeted advertisement has limited impact. People still need to internalize the message before it has any impact, and there's no evidence those targeted are not getting the same messages through other media. We're bombarded with idiotic messages day in and day out but these handful of ads are suddenly a danger to the Republic?

But if we're going to have a scapegoat at least we've picked a good one.

Jim said...

A group of millionaires, who profit from inside knowledge, are going to 'grill' a billionaire, who gives millions to lobbyists who give it Congress. Large sums of money will be paid to various lawyers. Lots of words thrown around for the camera. Nothing will change.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"Zuckerberg, 33, a cerebral coder . . ."
Zuckerberg did not get to where he is by coding anything. He is a ruthless businessman who is good at leveraging his massive user base & intellectual property laws. Zuckerberg is a coder the way that Henry Ford was an automotive technician.

FIDO said...

Just heard on T.V. that Suckerberg is apologizing for not detecting Russian Collusion earlier.

So this is a mea culpa about Trump winning and not about his horrible practices.

Fabi said...

Will he wear his hoodie?

walter said...

Forget Russian influence..hope to hell the giveaway to the Obama campaign comes up.

Chuck said...

The important thing is sincerity.

Once you learn how to fake that, you're all set.

Virgil Hilts said...

Oh God, I want to see MZ do the same thing portrayed in the deposition scene in Social Network! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKnNUYknsuQ
GAGE
Okay. “No” you don’t think I deserve your attention.
MARK
I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall they have a right to give it a try. But there’s no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention--you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. Did I adequately answer your condescending question?

Char Char Binks said...

No "chortle" tag?

Virgil Hilts said...

It would also be great fun if MZ (bringing along Sean Parker of course, or even better Justin Timberlake who is much better at being SP than SP is) showed up in pajamas and ran a PPT with the top 10 reasons why Congress should not care about FB privacy violations and misuse of PII.
http://www.businessinsider.com/mark-zuckerbergs-brutal-prank-on-sequoia-2010-5

Unknown said...

Curiously, my usenet news reader to this day is Netscape. See? [help/about/copy/paste]

Really? I use trn. As nature intended..

Trumpit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birkel said...

Maybe Zuckerberg could hire Naomi Wolf to really spruce up his wardrobe. Maybe a lot of earthy browns and greens.

Worked wonders for President Gore. And that guy invented the internet!

Birkel said...

As for targeted ads, I cannot be bothered to check the ads for the companies with which I have specifically registered to receive their targeted E-mails.

I'm guessing the targeted ads improve the value from nothing to something just a little above nothing for some small slice of the public. And that equals billions of dollars in a 20 trillion dollar economy.

walter said...

Suitable suit

Jim at said...

If I were a Republican on the committee? I wouldn't say a damn word. Not a single question.

The Ds are furious at fellow Ds (Zuck and FB) for allowing the wrong person to win. Let them eat themselves alive.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Zuckerberg to congress:
"While you are sitting here on your fat asses, you aren't out making me money! What is wrong with you people? By God get with the program and start making me some money or I'll replace you with a bunch of Guatamalans!!

Michael said...

I can't stand MZ but hope he tells them to shove it. OTOH I am leaving FB because I am not interested in some asshole in a t-shirt deciding what content is "harmful." Especially when I am constantly assaulted by anti Trump content. I am going to my own safe space. I am not the only one. I don't care that they sell my info, that is to be expected. But I am seeing FB as an arm of the SJW movement and they can move on without me.

Paul said...

Members of Facebook ought to sue Zuckerberg. Class action lawsuit.

Using their data without their permission may have altered or at least put doubts about the fairness of the election (one way or another.) They were lied to.

Class action lawsuit! Billions and billions. Sue the stuffings out of him.

walter said...

David Begley said...Watch for a Congressman bring up the banning of Diamond and Silk from FB.
--
Bring them there and let them have at him.
Oh..the optics

George Spix said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpkESQl8-aA

We know that breaking up great companies leads to less than optimal results. In AT&T's case, we might have led world in comms and applications for 50 years, and all that this implies in terms of jobs, revenues, control, and keeping the peace. Besides the loss of a decade or two in increasing everyone’s quality of life, and propagation of our system of rights everywhere. The same will happen here if we’re not very careful to preserve these new great companies, and the value they’ve created, around the world. The late great Gary Becker proved the problems markets create they can fix. Search for "What if Privacy Were Property and not Only a right?". Full disclosure I'm a coauthor. We need this, so we don't lose the great good of social networks, and not burden them with the soul killing swamp. To fix today’s perverse incentives, Richard Fernandez and I propose a system where a buyer of a quanta of information in a standardized container with a bill of lading (say an email, or a search string) must meet the seller’s price and T&Cs, preserve it when aggregated, partitioned or copied, even inferred from. Rather than what’s likely now, a crisis used to reduce our freedom and make us more dependent on government with laws that raise barriers to competition. And raise costs for everyone with soul killing regulation and snake oil, son of HIPPA. Then what issues remains are fraud which are what torts and courts are for, and today’s morass will drain away. Note that CALEA and sovereignty needs are met worldwide and locally, in a distributed anti-fragile system. With no Siren Servers to compromise. Others have proposed similar block chain- approaches, but none have focused on making a market in your privacy and owners sharing in the proceeds from its every use. So free won't be free and you'll always be in control. Solving the challenge that big data and AI create by making something out of too little to notice until it’s gone. Regards George Spix and Richard Fernandez.

mikee said...

In 30 or 40 years, can we watch a movie about Zuckerberg that is akin to The Aviator?
Or must we be satisfied with The Social Network, which would be like watching a tale of Hughes' early days in Texas, without anything after that?

Will Zuckerberg end up being cared for by Mormons in a Vegas hotel penthouse, or will he retain his humanity and his sanity? Time will tell.

What won't change is that Facebook is designed to provide your private information to those willing to pay for it, or in the case of Democrats, those whose interests are supported by Zuckerberg. Use it at your own risk, and realize Barnum underestimated the birthrate of suckers.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Regards George Spix and Richard Fernandez.
4/9/18, 9:53 PM


Is the real Richard Fernandez aware that a fellow named George Spix is posting on this board claiming acquaintance and co-authorship with him?