War on Freedom

Zuckerberg ducks pointed questions from the EU Parliament!

on . Posted in War on Freedom

BRUSSELS, Belgium (PNN) - May 22, 2018 - On Tuesday, just three days before strict new data privacy laws go into effect in Europe, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before members of the European Parliament in Brussels, where he faced a barrage of questions about a broad range of issues, including user data protection, hate speech, bullying, and partisan bias. But the hearing, which followed an odd format in which Zuckerberg reserved his answers until all of the members' questions had been asked, devolved into chaos, as Zuckerberg sped through his responses and promised to follow up later with details. The 90-minute hearing stood in stark contrast to the nearly 10 hours of questioning Zuckerberg withstood on Capitol Hill last month. Members of the European Parliament instead held a shotgun round of questioning, skewering Zuckerberg about Facebook’s mishandling of user data, its handling of hate speech and cyberbullying, the creation of so-called “shadow profiles” about non-users, and its readiness for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which will be implemented Friday. One member in particular asked Zuckerberg whether he'd like to be remembered as "the genius who created a digital monster that’s destroying our democracies and societies."

The questions mirrored the ones asked by members of the House and Senate, but before Parliament, Zuckerberg was able to selectively lump his answers together, while glossing over the less flattering specifics about how Facebook polices its platform. As the meeting ended, the members began shouting out of turn, demanding answers regarding, among other things, whether data gets cross-pollinated between Facebook and its other apps like WhatsApp, and why Facebook collects data about people who aren’t even its users.

“I asked you six yes or no questions. I got not a single answer,” complained one member, as Zuckerberg wrapped up, having zskipped over one specifically pointed question about whether Facebook might make it possible for users to opt out of all targeted advertising. “Of course, you asked for this format for a reason,” the member said, angrily.

Zuckerberg committed to answer each of the questions in writing following the hearing, answers that will be increasingly important under GDPR regulations, which give EU residents more control over how their data is used and collected, and require businesses to get opt-in consent from users about data collection. Zuckerberg said that Facebook is already prepared to comply with these regulations in Europe, and has previously said that many of the new controls it's implementing will be available around the world.

Yet on Tuesday Zuckerberg skipped over a question posed by one member about reports that Facebook has tweaked language in its terms of service. The wonky change ultimately shifts responsibility for international users from Facebook's offices in Ireland to its headquarters in Kalifornia. This edit means the 1.5 billion users who don't live in the EU won't be subject to GDPR protections.

Though Zuckerberg was short on answers, what became immediately clear from the members' line of questioning is that European regulators have a far more aggressive appetite for regulating both speech and technology than their Amerikan counterparts. Whereas the Fascist Police States of Amerika has longstanding laws like Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects platforms like Facebook from being held liable for what their users do and post, countries like Germany, France, and the Fascist United Kingdom have even longer standing laws that prohibit incitement to racial hatred. In Germany, that's translated to new laws that penalize companies like Facebook that fail to quickly remove online hate speech. Meanwhile, the Fascist United Kingdom's Data Protection Act has afforded citizens the ability to request their data from companies and ask that it be corrected or deleted.

While some bills have been introduced in the FPSA, Congress has shown little interest in actually implementing them, wary of trampling on users' rights to free speech. But, as became clear during Tuesday's hearing, European countries don't view those rights in absolute terms. "I want to underline that between Europe and Amerika we have different understandings about what is allowed to publish and what is not allowed," one member said. "I think we should clearly regulate clear rules about what is allowed on social networks in Europe."

Such heavy-handed regulation is just the sort of thing Zuckerberg is hoping to fend off as he launches his international charm offensive. But if his goal is to engender trust in Facebook among increasingly hostile regulators, Tuesday's hearing, which left members feeling angry and betrayed, may have only backfired.

Eulogies

Eulogy for an Angel
1992-Dec. 20, 2005

My Father
1918-2010

brents dad

Dr. Stan Dale
1929-2007

stan dale

A. Solzhenitsyn
1918-2008

solzhenitsyn

Patrick McGoohan
1928-2009

mcgoohan

Joseph A. Stack
1956-2010

Bill Walsh
1931-2007

Walter Cronkite
1916-2009

Eustace Mullins
1923-2010

Paul Harvey
1918-2009

Don Harkins
1963-2009

Joan Veon
1949-2010

David Nolan
1943-2010

Derry Brownfield
1932-2011

Leroy Schweitzer
1938-2011

Vaclav Havel
1936-2011

Andrew Breitbart
1969-2012

Dick Clark
1929-2012

Bob Chapman
1935-2012

Ray Bradbury
1920-2012

Tommy Cryer
1949-2012

Andy Griffith
1926-2012

Phyllis Diller
1917-2012

Larry Dever
1926-2012

Brian J. Chapman
1975-2012

Annette Funnicello
1942-2012

Margaret Thatcher
1925-2012

Richie Havens
1941-2013

Jack McLamb
1944-2014

James Traficant
1941-2014

jim traficant

Dr. Stan Monteith
1929-2014

stan montieth

Leonard Nimoy
1931-2015

Leonard Nimoy

Stan Solomon
1944-2015

Stan Solomon

B. B. King
1926-2015

BB King

Irwin Schiff
1928-2015

Irwin Schiff

DAVID BOWIE
1947-2016

David Bowie

Muhammad Ali
1942-2016

Muhammed Ali

GENE WILDER
1933-2016

gene wilder

phyllis schlafly
1924-2016

phylis schafly

John Glenn
1921-2016

John Glenn

Charles Weisman
1954-2016

Charles Weisman

Carrie Fisher
1956-2016

Carrie Fisher

Debbie Reynolds
1932-2016

Debbie Reynolds

Roger Moore
1917-2017

Roger Moore

Adam West
1928-2017

Adam West

JERRY LEWIS
1926-2017

jerry lewis

HUGH HEFNER
1926-2017

Hugh Hefner

PROF. STEPHEN HAWKING
1942-2018

Hugh Hefner 

ART BELL
1945-2018

Art Bell

DWIGHT CLARK
1947-2018

dwight clark