Whatever you may think of today's Senate hearings with Mark Zuckerberg and our erstwhile Senate, there can be no question that one Senator in particular planned to use people's Facebook data to win the 2016 Republican primary. Cambridge Analytica was funded for Ted Cruz, not Donald Trump. Cruz and his backers planned to use it to gain an advantage over other Republicans in the field. They just weren't counting on Donald Trump using primal screams to hijack the primary, which he did.
Watching Ted Cruz use his platform to dodge responsibility for the monster he planned to leverage while whining about conservatives being victimized is some real theater and little more.
I'll just leave the rough transcript and the video here for you to enjoy. Never forget that Ted Cruz is just a ref-working idiot who would have happily taken stolen Facebook data to win an election. Never forget that.
And when he starts spouting off about censorship, please remember that Facebook is not a government entity but a corporation with the ability to choose which content they choose to allow and which they do not.
CRUZ: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Zuckerberg, welcome. thanks for being here. Mr. Zuckerberg, does Facebook consider itself a neutral public forum?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, we consider ourselves to be a platform for all ideas.
CRUZ: Let me ask the question again. does Facebook consider itself to be a neutral public forum? Are you a first amendment speaker expressing your view or are you a neutral public forum allowing everyone to speak?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, here's how we think about this. I don't believe that -- there are certain content that clearly we do not allow, right. hate speech, terrorist content, nudity, anything that makes people feel unsafe in the community. From that perspective that's why we generally try to refer to what we do as a platform for all ideas.
CRUZ: The time is constrained. It's just a simple question. The predicate for section 30 immunity under the CDA is that you're a neutral public forum. Do you consider yourself a neutral public forum or are you engaged in political speech which is your right under the first amendment?
ZUCKERBERG: Well, Senator, our goal is certainly not to engage in political speech. I'm not that familiar with the specific legal language of the law that you speak to so I -- I would need to follow up with you on that. I'm just trying to lay out how broadly I think about this.
CRUZ: Mr. Zuckerberg, i would say that there are a great many Americans who I think are deeply concerned that Facebook and other tech companies are engaged in a pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship. There have been numerous instances with Facebook in May of 2016, Gizmodo said Facebook routinely suppressed conservative stories from trending news, including stories about CPAC and including stories about Mitt Romney and the Lois Lerner IRS scandal and stories from Glenn Beck. in addition to that, Facebook has initially shut down the Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day page, has blocked a post of a Fox news report. has blocked over two dozen Catholic pages and most recently blocked Trump supporters Diamond and Silk's page with 1.2 million Facebook followers after terminating their content and brand were, quote, unsafe to the community. To many Americans that appears to be a pervasive pattern of political bias. Do you agree with that assessment?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, let me say a few things about this. first, I understand where that concern is coming from because Facebook and the tech industry are located in Silicon Valley which is an extremely left-leaning place. This is actually a concern that I have and that I try to root out the company is making sure that we don't have any bias in the work that we do, and I think it is a fair concern that people would at least wonder about.
CRUZ: Are you aware of any ad or page that has been taken down from Planned Parenthood?
ZUCKERBERG: I'm not.
CRUZ: How about Moveon.org?
CRUZ: How about Moveon.org.
ZUCKERBERG: I'm not specifically aware of those.
CRUZ: Any Democratic candidate for office?
ZUCKERBERG: I'm not specifically aware. i'm not -- i'm not sure.
CRUZ: In your testimony you say that you have 15,000 to 20,000 people working on security and content review. Do you know the political orientation of those 15,000 to 20,000 people engaged in content review?
ZUCKERBERG: No, Senator, we do not generally ask people about their political orientation when they are joining the company.
CRUZ: So as CEO have you ever made hiring or firing decisions based on political positions or what candidates they supported?
CRUZ: Why was Palmer Luckey fired?
ZUCKERBERG: That is a specific personnel matter that seems like it would be inappropriate --
CRUZ: You just made a specific recommendation you didn't make decisions based on political views?
ZUCKERBERG: I can commit it was not because of a political view.
CRUZ: Do you know of those 15,000 to 20,000 people engaged in content review how many, if any, have ever supported financially a Republican candidate for office?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, i do not know that.
CRUZ: Your testimony says it is not enough that we just connect people. We have to make sure those connections with positive. it says we have to make sure people aren't using their voice to hurt people or spread misinformation. We have a responsibility not just to build tools, to make sure those tools are used for good. Mr. Zuckerberg, do you feel that your responsibility to assess users whether they are good and positive connections or ones that those 15,000 to 20,000 people deem unacceptable or deplorable?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, you're asking me personally.
Senator, i think that there are a number of things that we would all agree are clearly bad. foreign interference in our elections, terrorism, self-harm.
CRUZ: I'm talking about censorship?
ZUCKERBERG: I think that you would probably agree that we should remove terrorist propaganda from the service, so that I agree is clearly bad activity that we want to get down, and we're generally proud of how well we do that. now, what I can say and I do want to get this in before the end here is that I am -- I'm very committed to making sure that Facebook is a a platform for all ideas. That's a very important founding principle of what we do. we're proud of the discourse and the different ideas that people can share on the service, and that is something that as long as i'm running the company I'll be committed to making sure is the case.