Yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went to Capitol Hill to testify in front of the Senate judiciary and commerce committees. His appearance was in response to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal that saw as many as 87 million people’s personal information mined without their consent to influence the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. The often shady ways the company stores our data—often using language tricks to make it legal but not entirely obvious for a typical user that the data is being stored—has caused the social media platform to come under intense scrutiny in the past several weeks.
What Zuckerberg went to Capitol Hill to do was, in practice, relatively boring. Several Senators asked him questions about his company, but most of those Senators are, shall we say, at an age in which, statistically speaking, we wouldn’t expect them to be very tech-savvy. One actually asked Zuckerberg how his company makes money, to which he answered, with a truly bizarre smile, “Senator, we run ads.”
Hatch: "How do you sustain a business model in which users don't pay for your service?"— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) April 10, 2018
Zuckerberg: "Senator, we run ads" *smiles*
Hatch: "I see. That's great." https://t.co/1PQ3joAtC8
In any case, any high-profile event like this was bound to receive the attention of the talented, dedicated Meme Producers of the world. And, boy, did they deliver.
In fact, it was an exemplary internet moment: the memes ranged in topics from Zuckerberg’s noted lack of humanity (I mean, he’s gotta be a robot, right?), references to the Facebook origin story depicted in 2010’s The Social Network, and even some gold Myspace Tom references. Man, once you reluctantly accept that these multi-billion dollar companies will hoard every single morsel of information about you that they possibly can for, like, eternity, then the internet sure is funny!