With Facebook's data breach scandal affecting somewhere around 87 million users, CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat down for five hours to testify in front of Congress Tuesday, and late-night comedians all tuned in.
Most analysts feel that Zuckerberg came out pretty unscathed from his first day of testifying, but it says more about our lawmakers than Zuckerberg or the flaws in Facebook's data policies. "What the first day of the Zuckerberg hearings made clear is that many American lawmakers are illiterate when it comes to 21st century technology," observed CNN Tech reporter Dylan Byers.
The questions asked were kind of all over the place, with many involving how Facebook works or asking for solutions that were already in place. Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers had a lot of fun with the senators' confusion, while James Corden questioned the tone of the hearings and Conan O'Brien imagined a world without Facebook.
"The Late Late Show with James Corden"
After explaining that Zuckerberg was testifying over Facebook's failure to protect the private information of literally millions of its users -- and even using some of that data for corporate gains -- Corden showed a clip from the hearings of the CEO being asked if he'd be comfortable revealing the hotel he stayed in the night prior.
After an uncomfortable laugh, Zuckerberg said no as the room shared a chuckle. "We're having fun, aren't we?" Corden joked. "You let Russia pick the president but it's nice that we can have a good laugh about it."
He then turned his attention to one of Facebook's bigger scandals: all those fake news stories that spread through the platform from Russian hackers and other politically motivated organizations. "It was a pretty rough few hours for Zuckerberg," Corden said. "He took a lot of criticism, or as the headline on Facebook said, 'Brave CEO Delivers Inspirational Speech.'"
The ABC star noticed how Zuckerberg apologized for the 2015 Cambridge Analytica data breach that saw user data harvested by the company and used to promote specific political agendas. But he wondered just how sorry Facebook was.
"Did anyone get a message from Facebook telling them this happened to them?" he asked his audience, who shouted no. "I knew they didn't send it to anyone."
He then turned his attention to the senators themselves, some who had a rudimentary-at-best understanding of Facebook, the data breach or social media, in general. So he added a few senators of his own to ask awkward questions of Zuckerberg like, "If someone pokes me is that a sexting?" or "Can anyone see those pictures I sent to my intern?"
It culminated in the most important question of the entire hearing: "Is it mad basic to post a selfie of your feet while on vacation?" Zuckerberg said no, but Kimmel thinks he might have gotten that one wrong.
The NBC host took a hard look at the senators grilling the Facebook CEO and came to one conclusion. "Mark Zuckerberg testified before a joint Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committee today in front of bunch of people whose password is definitely password," he said.
He then imagined a senator really grilling Zuckerberg about the Facebooks.
"In this book, how many pages does it have?" Meyers shouted at the camera in a faux old-man voice. "I mean, it must be so many. If we all have it, it must be so many pages!"
With many users opting to step away from Facebook in light of the data breach and the company's subsequent delayed and seemingly unconcerned response, Conan O'Brien tried to imagine what a post-Facebook world would look like.
He shared a commercial that featured a man deleting his account and preparing to move on with is life. But now what should he do? Apparently, all the same things he was doing on Facebook, just very awkwardly and uncomfortably in person.
The video showed him sharing baby pictures, reaching to high school classmates via phone, literally crushing candy, and sharing his political views via bullhorn in the office.
"That was kind of a pain in the ass, wasn't it?" a voiceover asked the man after his long day. "Kind of just makes you want to come back to Facebook, right?" After the man agreed, the voice added, "Welcome back, dumbass! Brought to you by Facebook: We Own You."