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WASHINGTON – Mark Zuckerberg survived his first grilling by Congress. Now it’s time for round two.
The Facebook CEO is set to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, his second and final hearing this week in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Zuckerberg emerged largely unscathed after a five-hour session before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees. The hearing marked his first time ever testifying on Capitol Hill.
Senators pressed him on Facebook’s data collection practices, alleged monopoly power and the potential for regulating the company. But with 44 senators asking questions, an unusually high number, and just five minutes of time allotted for each, there was limited potential for followup questions to the CEO.
The House hearing may prove no better. The Energy and Commerce Committee has 55 members.
The Congressional hearings come nearly a month after news broke that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump’s campaign, accessed information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge.
The data scandal wiped away tens of billions of dollars from Facebook’s market value, prompted political scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic and even raised the once unthinkable question of whether Zuckerberg should step down as CEO. It also reignited long simmering concerns about Facebook’s impact on the world’s privacy, civil discourse and domestic institutions.
“We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake,” Zuckerberg said in the hearing Tuesday. “It was a big mistake. And I’m sorry. I started Facebook. I run it and I’m responsible for what happens here.”
Investors appeared to like Zuckerberg’s debut on Capitol Hill. Facebook stock ended Tuesday up 4.5% and rose another 1% in early trading Wednesday.