‘I made mistakes,’ Facebook CEO wrote in notes for testimony

Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. (AFP)
Updated 11 April 2018

‘I made mistakes,’ Facebook CEO wrote in notes for testimony

WASHINGTON: Here’s what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wanted 44 senators to know about the scandal in which Cambridge Analytica used the massive social platform to access 87 million users: He made mistakes. Facebook’s mission is to “help people connect.” And no, he’s not resigning.

“Founded Facebook. My decisions. I made mistakes. Big challenge but we’ve solved problems before. Going to solve this one,” read Zuckerberg’s notes under the heading “Accountability” and the bullet point “Resign?” Zuckerberg left the notes on his desk during a break in testimony to the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees, and an Associated Press photographer took a picture.

Not so fast, the much older senators told Zuckerberg, 33, who was perched atop a seat pillow for the much-anticipated hearing into whether and how the breach affected the 2016 elections. They peppered him with questions about an array of Facebook’s lengthy privacy policy and data, but didn’t always seem to know how to follow up Zuckerberg’s talk of algorithms and AI systems. So one member of the joint committee, average age 62, got to the point.

“I just don’t feel like we’re connecting,” Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, told Zuckerberg in hour four of the hearing. “Your user agreement sucks.”

This time, there was no flop sweat, perhaps because the senators spent most of the first of two days of hearings reading questions for Zuckerberg on privacy issues rather than attacking him as expected on broader matters such as Russia’s role in election meddling or Facebook’s lag in responding to the data breach. It wasn’t as if senators could forget about the Russian meddling. Multiple investigations are probing the interference. Besides, someone dressed as a Russian troll watched from the audience wearing a pointy, blue-and-green wig.

Under “Election integrity (Russia),” Zuckerberg’s notes read, “Too slow, making progress.”

Under “Data safety,” the notes read, “Made mistakes, working hard to fix them.” Zuckerberg repeatedly told senators that unsatisfied Facebook members can adjust their privacy settings — or delete their accounts.

And under “Defend Facebook,” the notes advised the CEO that “If attacked,” he should respond: “Respectfully, I reject that. Not who we are.”

Twitter widely noted the apparent age or knowledge gap between Zuckerberg and the senators.

“Wrap it up, Grandpa Grassley,” tweeted one user to the Judiciary Committee chairman, who was deep into his first term in the Senate when Zuckerberg was born in 1984.

Some senators of a certain age utilized posters to illustrate their questions, such as Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, who’s served in the Senate since 1975. He asked Zuckerberg about hate speech, in places like Myanmar.

“What’s happening in Myanmar is a terrible tragedy,” Zuckerberg answered.

“We all agree with that,” Leahy snapped.

Suspect in killing of Mexican journalist arrested

Updated 24 April 2018

Suspect in killing of Mexican journalist arrested

MEXICO CITY: Mexican authorities arrested a suspect in the killing of internationally recognized journalist Javier Valdez on Monday night, Interior Secretary Alfonso Navarrete Prida said.
Navarrete said via Twitter late in the evening that federal agents in a joint operation had just arrested the “presumed (person) responsible for the killing,” but provided no details.
Valdez was gunned down in a street in Culiacan in the western state of Sinaloa on May 15, 2017.
He was known outside Mexico for his deeply nuanced books about the intersection of drug cartels, politicians and other segments of society. Inside Mexico, he was respected as a veteran journalist who generously shared his knowledge and kept readers informed with a regular column in Riodoce, a publication he helped found.
His killing led to a resounding outcry, but the killings of Mexican journalists have continued. At least 10 journalists, including Valdez, were killed in 2017.
Isamel Bojorquez, Riodoce’s editor and a friend of Valdez, confirmed the news. He said the suspect was arrested in the border city of Tijuana and was a member of an organized crime group. He declined to say which one, but said it had to do with the war that the Sinaloa cartel is in.

Riodoce later reported that Ricardo Sanchez Perez del Pozo, the federal special prosecutor in charge of investigating crimes against journalists, said in an interview that the suspect was a 26-year-old known by the alias “Koala.”
The news site reported that the motive of the killing was related to information Valdez had published weeks before his slaying. Sanchez told the site that the suspect was driving the car that intercepted Valdez. There were allegedly three attackers in the car.
The Sinaloa cartel has been battling within itself and with the Jalisco New Generation cartel for territory in western Mexico, especially since the 2016 capture of Sinaloa’s former leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and his subsequent extradition to the US last year.
The vacuum left by Guzman was contested by his sons and Damaso Lopez, Guzman’s right-hand man. Weeks before his murder, Valdez had interviewed Lopez, the outlet’s first interview of a cartel capo.
“Chapo’s sons found out that we had interviewed Damaso and they pressured Javier (Valdez) to not publish the story,” Bojorquez wrote in a column after his friend’s slaying. “But we refused the request.”
The national security commissioner scheduled a news conference for Tuesday morning.