Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, testifies today before Congress. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, he’ll appear at a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees. Less than a month ago, news broke that a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump’s campaign improperly obtained data on as many as 87 million Facebook users, without their knowledge. Cambridge Analytica allegedly compiled the data to create psychographic profiles of American voters to target them with tailored political advertisements. According to Zuckerberg’s prepared remarks, he will express contrition for the breach, and for being “too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference” in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. As Facebook faces government investigations in the United States and Europe, concerns grow about how the platform is used by political actors to manipulate voters, or even to sow genocide.
To discuss, we’re joined by: Pablo J. Boczkowski, professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University, and co-director of the Center for the Study of Media and Society in Argentina; and Zizi Papacharissi, professor of political science and communications department chair at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also edits the journal Social Media and Society. Papacharissi and Boczkowski co-edited the new book Trump and the Media.