Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees today to address the company’s privacy scandals. But before the palpably (and deservedly) uncomfortable billionaire stood before Capitol Hill, an army of Zuckerberg cutouts blew gently in the wind on the Capitol lawn.
Advocacy group Avaaz placed 100 life-sized Zuckerberg cutouts on the Capitol Lawn Tuesday morning. Later today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congressional investigators examining data privacy. Video via @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/MB1DDkjO6j
— Anaridis Rodriguez (@Anaridis) April 10, 2018
The cutouts, of which there are apparently 100, show Zuck in a “Fix Facebook” T-shirt. Avaaz, an advocacy group, deployed the Zuck swarm today to call on the company to, as the shirts say, fix Facebook. The group’s ominous lawn army is part of its campaign to fight misinformation.
Avaaz said in a press release that it consulted with regulators, experts and social media execs to come up with four steps the social network should adopt soon, especially ahead of upcoming US elections. It wants the company to ban all of the fake accounts on the platform, inform and educate users each time they view misinformation, invest in human fact-checkers around the world, and provide increased transparency and independent audits around fake news.
“Crucial elections are just months away,” Avaaz wrote in an open letter to Zuckerberg, internet CEOs and regulators. At the time of writing this, it has 930,794 of its one million needed signatures. “Facebook’s motto used to be Move Fast and Break Things. Now you need to Move Fast and Fix Things.”
Zuckerberg released his written testimony for Congress on yesterday ahead of the hearing. In it, he apologises and assumes responsibility for the screwups when it comes to “fake news, foreign election interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy”. But it’s clear, given the one hundred cardboard Zuck troops on the South East Lawn of the Capitol, that regretful acknowledgement isn’t enough. People are still waiting to see more meaningful change.