Mark Zuckerberg got a very real sense of the concerns surrounding Facebook’s Libra token last week when he met with top Senate Democrats and US lawmakers during a visit to Washington, DC which would have left him in no doubt as to the scale of the task ahead of him. The meetings, which were part of a trip that Facebook said was to discuss the “future of Internet regulation,” inevitably turned towards Libra, with Zuckerberg himself answering the questions rather than his embattled project manager, David Marcus.
Zuckerberg v Senators…the Rematch
Zuckerberg met with the Democratic officials on Wednesday night for dinner, organized by Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) who serves on the Senate Banking Committee, a meeting that brought Zuckerberg face to face with the very policymakers who have been loudly skeptical of the social media giant’s practices, and some of whom Zuckerberg faced during his congressional hearings in April 2018. According to Sen. Warner, Zuckerberg left the dinner promising that the Libra Foundation would not launch the product in any country before it receives the backing of United States regulators. Given current attitudes surrounding the proposal, this may not be for some time.
Trump Hosts Facebook Chief
Thursday saw Zuckerberg get another earful, this time from lawmakers, about the need for his company to better protect the data it collects and increase vigilance against political interference in the 2020 election, according to reports after the event. Democrats and Republicans alike also raised concerns about Facebook’s growing empire, which includes WhatsApp and Instagram, at a time when state and federal regulators are conducting antitrust probes. Zuckerberg also met privately with President Trump, who has personally criticized cryptocurrencies which he has previously said are based on “thin air”, although the details of the meeting, and whether Zuckerberg was able to convince the president otherwise, were not revealed.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2019