Harrington: There Will Be a Lot of ‘Finger-Wagging, Political Grandstanding’ at Zuckerberg Hearing

Washington Free Beacon senior writer Elizabeth Harrington said Wednesday there will be a lot of "political grandstanding" when Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee about consumer data privacy next month.

Harrington joined Fox News host Sandra Smith to discuss Facebook's announcement that Zuckerberg would testify before Congress. The announcement came in the wake of mounting pressure from lawmakers and the media following allegations the social media platform and data analytics companies have misused consumer data.

Smith asked Harrington how she thinks this hearing is going to play out, noting that Zuckerberg usually doesn't like to speak publicly.

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Harrington agreed, noting Zuckerberg seemed uncomfortable during his interview with CNN last week, before saying the hearing was "long overdue."

"I think that he should also think that this is way long overdue because Facebook has been doing this for a long time. The Obama campaign in 2012 did virtually the exact same thing that Cambridge Analytica did, although more effectively," Harrington said. "They used third-party apps. They got all the data from their supporters, but also, their supporters' friends list."

Harrington went on to note how the media called the Obama campaign "digital wizards" when they were working with Facebook data to target voters, but now that President Donald Trump benefitted from the data, some on the left and in the media are saying Facebook has become weaponized.

Smith referenced a Politico article from Tuesday that talked about some of the risks Zuckerberg faces when he testifies before Congress, prompting Harrington to agree with the expectation there will be political grandstanding.

"I like that line about the finger-wagging from members of Congress and senators because that's exactly what this is going to be. It's going to be a lot of political grandstanding. I'm not exactly sure all that much is going to come out of it because we've seen these hearings before. And it is unique because Zuckerberg's never testified and obviously there's a lot of outrage, but at the end of the day it's going to be a lot of grand standing."