Prepared remarks for his Wednesday testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee show Mark Zuckerberg will use the two magic words he’s been using a lot lately: “I’m sorry.”
The remarks, posted to the House Commerce website early Monday, reveal how Zuckerberg will approach what could be a contentious hearing.
After highlighting what he views as “the good” Facebook has done through connecting people, Zuckerberg will issue his congressional mea culpa:
But 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. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.
The Facebook CEO was initially criticized for his lack of direct apology in his first public comments addressing the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. In a lengthy post to the website he created, Zuckerberg acknowledged responsibility for the data breach, but noticeably didn’t apologize.
“I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I’m responsible for what happens on our platform,” Zuckerberg said in March. “I’m serious about doing what it takes to protect our community.”
Days later, the Facebook CEO would take out full-page newspaper ads to address the issue — and to offer an apology. “This was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time,” the message from Zuckerberg said. “We’re now taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Zuckerberg will also tell Congress how his company now views its broader responsibilities beyond simply connecting people, saying it “will take some time to work through all of the changes we need to make, but I’m committed to getting it right.” Facebook has been taking heavy criticism for how it uses and protects the data of millions of users.
The prepared remarks focus primarily on both Cambridge Analytica and Russian election interference. You can read all seven pages here.