On Tuesday, Facebook Inc. saw their biggest daily gain in almost two years as its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, fended off questions from US senators on how to closely regulate the world’s largest social network. The chief executive repeated the apologies that were made on Monday about the problems that have beset his social network, from foreign attempts to influence elections in the US to data privacy. However, the internet mogul succeeded in deterring any specific talk about new regulations and laws and did not make any new promises.
When the US Senate’s Commerce and Judiciary Committee asked the 33-year-old about what regulations were necessary, he said that he would have his team follow up so this discussion could happen across the different categories where it is needed.
Currently, Facebook has more than 2 billion users spread all over the globe, but Zuckerberg denied that the social network was a monopoly. Rather than donning his typical t-shirt and jeans, the CEO was wearing a dark suit and tie and he appeared to be mostly unruffled as he was questioned by US senators. His performance was welcomed by the investors and appreciated his conciliatory tone.
Shares of Facebook reached their highest levels in three weeks when they reached $165.04, which is an increase of 4.5 percent. There had been a steep decline in shares in the previous month when it had come to light that personal information of millions of users had been harvested off the social network by Cambridge Analytica. This is a political consultancy that has the election campaign of US President Donald Trump as its client. According to the latest estimates, approximately 87 million users were affected in this incident.
This disclosure had caused a crisis of confidence amongst employees, advertisers, investors and users in regard to Facebook. They had already been struggling with the reaction of the social network to fake news and the role it had played in the 2016 election.
In September, the social networking giant had disclosed that Russians had used Facebook under fake names for trying to influence voters in the US in the months before and even after the presidential elections in 2016. They had purchased ads, set up events and had also penned content about inflammatory subjects.
When Zuckerberg was asked if there was a connected between the political agenda of the Kremlin-connected Internet Research Agency and the data that was harvested by Cambridge Analytica, the CEO said that there may be a possible link. US Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating a possible connection between Trump’s campaign and Russia and he charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies in February for attempting to interfere in the election.
Zuckerberg stated on Tuesday that he believed Mueller’s office had also interviewed some Facebook employees. It was in 2004 when the CEO founded Facebook in his Harvard University dorm. Now, he is trying to prove to critics that he is the right man for leading what has become one of the largest companies in the world.