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What Is the Facebook Mueller Connection?

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that some kind of cooperation is taking place between Facebook and special counsel Robert Mueller, but he wouldn’t elaborate.

This would seem less creepy if Zuckerberg hadn’t made it sound like there was Facebook Mueller collaboration as opposed to compliance. Maybe I’m making too much of it, but the AP story quotes his choice of words: Facebook is “working with” Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Zuckerberg chose that language. The way the question was asked didn’t lead him to use it.

Zuckerberg doesn’t know if anyone has been subpeonaed but his company is handing over information willingly even so. If this is supposed to reassure me that Facebook cares about privacy, then it isn’t working!

The Associated Press reports, “Zuckerberg discloses Facebook working with Russia probe.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg disclosed Tuesday his company is “working with” special counsel Robert Mueller in the federal probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign — and working hard to change its own operations after the harvesting of users’ private information by a Trump campaign-affiliated data-mining company.

The founder of the social media giant publicly apologized for his company’s errors in failing to better protect the personal information of its millions of users, a controversy that has brought a flood of bad publicity and sent the company’s stock value plunging. He seemed to achieve a measure of success: Facebook shares surged 4.5 percent for the day, the biggest gain in two years.

Zuckerberg told the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees that he has not been personally interviewed by Mueller’s team, but “I know we’re working with them.” He offered no details, citing a concern about confidentiality rules of the investigation.

Earlier this year Mueller charged 13 Russian individuals and three Russian companies in a plot to interfere in the 2016 presidential election through a social media propaganda effort that included online ad purchases using U.S. aliases and politicking on U.S. soil. A number of the Russian ads were on Facebook.

During Tuesday’s at-times-contentious hearing, Zuckerberg said it had been “clearly a mistake” to believe the data-mining company Cambridge Analytica had deleted user data that it had harvested in an attempt to sway elections. He said Facebook had considered the data collection “a closed case” because it thought the information had been discarded.

Facebook also didn’t alert the Federal Trade Commission, Zuckerberg said, and he assured senators the company would handle the situation differently today.

He began a two-day congressional inquisition with a public apology for the way Facebook handled the data-mining of its users’ data. He took responsibility for failing to prevent Cambridge Analytica, which was affiliated with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, from gathering personal information from 87 million users.

Read the entire story.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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