Mark Zuckerburg’s appearance before the US Congress has been derided - chiefly thanks to confused and confusing questions from middle-aged politicians struggling to grasp how Facebook works.
The 33-year-old billionaire fielded inquiries from Senators after Cambridge Analytica improperly used the data of 87 million Facebook users.
The social media pioneer admitted “we have made a lot of mistakes” and “I’m sorry”, repeatedly making references the company’s ‘origin story’ of being set-up in his Harvard dorm room.
Zuckerburg also revealed “one of my greatest regrets” is his slow reaction to Russian meddling in the US election.
But many people watching were more alarmed by the quality of the questions, with one Senator asking a question about Facebook algorithms work “if I’m emailing within WhatsApp” and Zuckerburg having to explain: “We have an app called Messenger for sending messages to your Facebook friends.”
The probe appeared to reach its nadir when a Republican Senator, Orrin Hatch, asked Zuckerberg how Facebook makes money.
“Senator, we run ads,” Zuckerberg responded, stunned he had to make its basic business model clear.
Perhaps the closet the committee got to landing a blow on ‘Zuck’ was when Senator Dick Durbin asked about his most recent night’s sleep.
He said: “Mr Zuckerberg, would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?”
After a pause, and sniggering, Zuckerberg said: “No.”
“If you messaged anyone this week would you share with us the names of the people you have messaged?,” Senator Durbin responded.
“Senator, no, I would probably not choose to do that publicly here,” Zuckerberg said.
Durbin said: “I think that may be what this is all about: your right to privacy, the limits of your right to privacy, and how much you give away, in modern America, in the name of connecting people around the world.”
And was this the nearest thing to a story?
In lieu of revelations, commentators let the memes do the talking.
As Senators all gave opening statements, Zuckerberg sat quietly with a resting face that was irresistible.
And the tableau of Zuckerburg surrounded by photographers became instantly iconic.