(CNN)Mark Zuckerberg sat down for a joint Senate committee hearing today -- the first of two days on the Hill for the Facebook CEO.
US senators show they know what's up (even if they don't know WhatsApp) during Zuckerberg hearing
Though they didn't quite go full "series of tubes" with it, many observers quickly pointed out that the technological illiteracy of lawmakers was on full display during questioning.
(A reminder: The average age in the US Senate is 61.)
Here are some of the top moments in which lawmakers did their best to speak internet:
Sen. Chuck Grassley: "We have 44 members between our two committees. That may not seem like a large group by Facebook standards, but it is significant here for a hearing in the United States Senate."
Facebook has 2 billion users. They can join groups within the platform. Grassley knows how Facebook works, folks!
Sen. Grassley: "They have moved on from schools, likes and relationship statuses. Today, Facebook has access of data points, ranging from ads that you've clicked on, events you've attended and your location, based upon your mobile device."
Senator, we have all moved on from relationship statuses.
Sen. Bill Nelson: "If you and other social media companies do not get your act in order, none of us are going to have any privacy anymore. That's what we're facing."
Senator Nelson is slightly histrionic here. After all, there are a ton of people who don't have Facebook...
Sen. John Thune: "I'm glad that you all have gotten that message."
Please let this be a Facebook Messenger reference.
Sen. Orrin Hatch: "Well, in my opinion, this is the most ... intense public scrutiny I've seen for a tech-related hearing since the Microsoft hearing that -- that I chaired back in the late 1990s."
What. A. Humblebrag. Just super casually mentioning you chaired an important hearing. But be careful not to date yourself, Senator Hatch! You were a spry young man in your early 60s during that hearing. No current teenagers were even alive then.
Sen. Hatch: "Nothing in life is free. Everything involves trade-offs."
This would be a perfect caption for a #thoughtful #candid Instagram post. Feeling pensive now, might delete later.
Sen. Hatch: "Well, if so, how do you sustain a business model in which users don't pay for your service?"
Zuckerberg: "Senator, we run ads."
Sen. Hatch: "I see. That's great."
Senator Hatch, tell me truthfully, did you just prepare for this hearing by dusting off your notes from that 1998 Microsoft one?
Sen. Maria Cantwell: "Do you know who Palantir is?"
You probably haven't heard of them. They're really obscure and indie. (Actually, they aren't.)
Sen. Lindsey Graham: "Is Twitter the same as what you do?"
I really hope Senator Lindsey Graham was trolling Zuckerberg here. He has to know they aren't the same thing -- and in fact are pretty much mortal enemies, right?
Sen. Graham: "So, Instagram -- you bought Instagram."
Lindsey Graham. He knows all the apps. He's cool. He's hip. He's with it.
Sen. Roy Blunt: "There are days when I wonder if 'Facebook friends' is a little misstated. It doesn't seem like I have those every single day."
This would actually be a really good moody, attention-seeking "vaguebook" post.
Sen. Blunt: "Well, now, that doesn't seem that complicated to me. Now, you -- you understand this better than I do, but maybe -- maybe you can explain to me why that's that -- why that's complicated."
Senator Blunt, re: offline data. Everyone else, re: their friends' "it's complicated" relationship statuses.
Sen. Brian Schatz: "If I'm emailing within WhatsApp, does that ever inform your advertisers?"
OK. So. WhatsApp is encrypted. Also ... are we calling WhatsApp messages emails now? Cool.
Sen. Dan Sullivan: "Are you too powerful? And do you think you're too powerful?"
This reminds me of this scene from the classic teen movie "Mean Girls." So you agree? You think you're really
Sen. Thom Tillis: "I've got 4,900 friends on my Facebook page. I delete the haters and save room for family members and true friends on my personal page, as I'm sure everybody does."
Haters gonna hate. Amiright, Senator Tillis? #ChampagneForMyRealFriends
Sen. Tillis: "I'm a proud member of Facebook, just got a post from my sister on this being National Sibling Day, so I've connected with four or five of my staff while I was giving you my undivided -- or family undivided attention."
If National Sibling Day happens and your siblings don't post about you, does that mean you're legally disowned?
Same. Reading's for nerds.
Sen. John Kennedy: "Your user agreement sucks."
Ah, the old "_____ sucks." Right up there with "Are you trying to ruin my life?" and "You are so embarrassing!"
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito: "You tell your children, once you make that mark in the internet system it never really goes away."
I don't have children, but I don't imagine I would say that, exactly. Stop trying to make "internet system" happen, Senator Capito!