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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Facebook's Zuckerberg is right about TikTok and China. He's spectacularly wrong too

Facebook's Zuckerberg is right about TikTok and China. He's spectacularly wrong too

Commentary: The leader of the world's most powerful social network failed to defend himself and his company.

- 07:11

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared by video conference before a congressional subcommittee Wednesday.


Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and co-founder of Facebook, wants us to look at him differently. He wants us to imagine what the world would be like if  people much worse than the benevolent leader he is were running the world's largest social network.

"China is building its own version of the internet focused on very different ideas, and they are exporting their vision to other countries," he said Wednesday in his opening statement before a House of Representatives antitrust subcommittee, a not so subtle dig at one of his biggest competitors, the Chinese social networking app TikTok.

 "As Congress and other stakeholders consider how antitrust laws support competition in the US," Zuckerberg said, "I believe it's important to maintain the core values of openness and fairness that have made America's digital economy a force for empowerment and opportunity here and around the world. … Many other tech companies share these values, but there's no guarantee our values will win out."

I'll say it so no one else has to: Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg, for not being the boogeyman.

Now playing: Zuckerberg: If we don't keep innovating, someone will...

Also, thank you for not being Kim Jong-un, Lex Luthor or the digital Wicked Witch of the West. And considering his self-destructive social media use, I'm even thankful you're not Elon Musk.

But is this how far we've sunk in our national discourse around Facebook that its savvy and shrewd CEO believes his best course of action is to hope Congress will treat him differently because he says he's not the Dr. Evil of the internet?

There shouldn't just be daylight between Zuckerberg and our modern-day villains. Facebook's CEO should be a good guy.

I'm disappointed to see Zuckerberg and this new Batman-at-the-end-of-The-Dark-Knight shtick, acting as though he's the misunderstood hero whose redemption is around the corner

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