Christopher Wylie — the whistleblower and former employee of Cambridge Analytica who broke news about the controversial data firm harvesting data from millions of Facebook users during the 2016 election — was not impressed with Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress this week.
The 27-year-old data scientist said lawmakers asked the Facebook founder “softball questions” and displayed a lack of familiarity with the specifics regarding social media companies and user data, speaking with CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour in a Wednesday interview.
“I didn’t seem to learn anything, I don’t know if anybody learned that much about Facebook,” Wylie said. “I think that’s in part because when you have senators and members of Congress who don’t really understand technology, it’s sort of like watching your granddad try to fix the VCR.”
Wylie spoke with CNN during Zuckerberg’s second day of hearings in front of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, in which he vowed to “do better” in preventing inappropriate use of personal data. The CEO did not directly endorse any new regulations on social media platforms like Facebook, nor did he outright agree to support the “BROWSER Act,” which would provide more controls to users over their digital privacy.
Billy Long has brought out a poster of Diamond and Silk and is reading a question they sent to him to ask Zuckerberg! pic.twitter.com/svEDtWbVkT
— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) April 11, 2018
Zuckerberg was repeatedly interrogated by Republican lawmakers about Diamond and Silk, two YouTube personalities who regularly appear on Fox News in support of the president and reportedly had their content flagged on Facebook as “unsafe to the community.” As several outlets noted, the billionaire business mogul was asked more about the pair of vloggers than his company’s role in international crises, including the Myanmar genocide.
“Actions speak louder than words,” Wylie continued. “It’s the role of our legislators, not just the United States but around the world, to actually ask tough questions. I think we all need to start actually prompting representatives to ask tougher questions.”
Watch a clip of Amanpour’s interview with Wylie above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]