Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress

Veronica Rocha, Brian Ries and Amanda Wills, CNN

Updated 3:37 PM ET, Wed April 11, 2018
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3:11 p.m. ET, April 10, 2018

This is Mark Zuckerberg's first time testifying before Congress

From CNN's Seth Fiegerman

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The appearance marks the first time that Zuckerberg has testified before Congress. Zuckerberg, 33, swapped his usual gray t-shirt and jeans attire for a dark blue suit and light blue tie.

He appeared somber as he walked in to testify, and spoke before a packed room, with 44 senators in attendance.

"It's extraordinary to hold a joint committee hearing. It's even more extraordinary to have a single CEO testify before nearly half the United States Senate," said Sen. John Thune, chairman of the Commerce Committee.

"Then again, Facebook is extraordinary."

3:08 p.m. ET, April 10, 2018

Read Mark Zuckerberg's full opening remarks

 Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
 Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Here's what Mark Zuckerberg just told members of the Senate committees who are now questioning the CEO over Facebook's data practices:

You will rightfully have hard questions for me to answer. Before I talk about the steps we taking to address them, I want to talk about how we got here. Facebook is an idealistic and optimistic company. For most of our existence, we focused on all of the good that connecting people can do. And as Facebook has grown, feel -- people have gotten is powerful new tool for staying connected to people they love and recently we’ve seen the #metoo movement and after hurricane Harvey, people came to the and 70 million small businesses used Facebook to create jobs and grow. But it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools for being used as harm as well. That goes for fake news, for interference in elections and we didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake and it was my mistake and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it and I’m responsible for what happens here. So now we have to go through our -- all of our relationship with people and make sure we’re taking a broad enough view of our responsibility. It’s not enough to just connect people. We have to make sure those connections are positive. It’s not enough to give people a voice. We have to make sure people aren’t using it to harm people or spread disinformation. Across the board we have a responsibility to not just build tools but to make sure that they’re used for good. It will take some time to work through all the changes but I’m committed to getting this right. Here are a few things that we are doing to address this and to prevent it from happening again. First, we’re getting to the bottom of exactly what Cambridge Analytica did and telling everyone affected. What we know now is that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed information by buying it. When we first contacted Cambridge Analytica, they told us they had deleted the data. About a month ago, we heard new reports that suggested that wasn’t true. Now we’re working with governments in the U.S., the U.K. And around the world to do a full audit of what they’ve done and make sure they get rid of any data they may still have. Second, to make sure no other app developers out there are misusing data, we’re investigating every app and to prevent this from going forward, we’re making sure they can’t access as much information now. The good news is we already made big changes in our platform in 2014 that would have prevented this specific situation with Cambridge Analytica from occurring again today. But there’s more to do. You can find more details on the steps we’re taking in my written statement. My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people, building community and bringing the world closer together. Advisers and developers will never take priority over that as long as I am running Facebook. I started Facebook when I was in college. We’ve come a long way since then. We now serve more than 2 billion people around the world, and every day people use our services to stay connected to the people that matter to them most. I believe deeply in what we are doing and I know that when we address these challenges, we’ll look back and view helping people connect and giving more people a voice as a positive force in the world. I realize the issues we’re talking about today aren’t just issues for Facebook in our community, they’re issues and challenges for all of us as Americans. Thank you for having me here today. I’m ready to take your questions.
3:00 p.m. ET, April 10, 2018

Facebook CEO: We failed

In his prepared opening remarks, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the Senate that, ultimately, "I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here."

He said the company failed to protect its users and their privacy.

"It's clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry," Zuckerberg said.

2:59 p.m. ET, April 10, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg tells Congress: "I'm sorry"

Mark Zuckerberg has a clear message for Congress in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal: It's my fault.

He's currently giving his opening remarks to lawmakers, a version of which was previewed when a copy of Zuckerberg's remarks as prepared for delivery to the House, which is scheduled for tomorrow, was posted online.

2:53 p.m. ET, April 10, 2018

What some fear will happen: The lawmakers simply won't grasp Facebook's business model

From CNN's Dylan Byers

My fear: The majority of lawmakers -- 44 in all just today -- will not have a sufficient enough grasp of Facebook's business model to press Zuckerberg out of his comfort zone. They will instead each use their five minutes to grandstand and make speeches that will have little bearing on the future of data privacy, much less the future of Facebook.

From Dylan Byers' newsletter PACIFIC: The new CNNMoney newsletter about the center of change and innovation.

2:45 p.m. ET, April 10, 2018

Zuckerberg held mock hearings to prep for today's grilling

From CNN's Seth Fiegerman 

Behind the scenes, Mark Zuckerberg and his team did mock hearings over the past week in a conference room at Facebook set up to look like a congressional hearing room.

Zuckerberg plans to be contrite in his appearances before lawmakers. He will make the case for Facebook — why it helps people's lives — but be ready to push back when appropriate.

"He's nervous, but he's really confident," the source said. "He's a smart guy."

2:34 p.m. ET, April 10, 2018

Zuckerberg takes his seat

The Facebook CEO arrived at the hearing at 2:29 p.m. ET.

2:30 p.m. ET, April 10, 2018

#DeleteFacebook: One hearing attendee's handmade shirt

Here's one what attending of Zuckerberg hearing wants to say: #DeleteFacebook.

1:55 p.m. ET, April 10, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg posts a Facebook message as he heads into Senate hearing

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a message to his page just before he heads into the joint committee hearing in the wake of Facebook's data scandal.

"In an hour I’m going to testify in front of the Senate about how Facebook needs to take a broader view of our responsibility -- not just to build tools, but to make sure those tools are used for good," Zuckerberg wrote. "I will do everything I can to make Facebook a place where everyone can stay closer with the people they care about, and to make sure it's a positive force in the world."

He included a photo of the Capitol Building's west lawn, with its trees in full bloom.