Facebook's testimony before Congress started with a surprise as 3 protesters held up posters showing Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg as a 2-headed octopus wrapped around the world

House of Representatives
  • During the House Judiciary Committee’s Tuesday hearing on social-media content filtering, three protesters held up signs while Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, testified before the panel.
  • The images appeared to depict Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, and Sheryl Sandberg, its COO, as two heads on an octopus with its legs stretched around a globe.
  • A URL at the bottom of the image appears to lead to a website belonging to a group called Freedom from Facebook.

Shortly after Facebook’s head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, began her testimony at the House Judiciary Committee’s Tuesday hearing on social-media content filtering, three protesters held up images behind her.

The small posters appeared to depict Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, and Sheryl Sandberg, its COO, as two heads on an octopus with its legs stretched around a globe.

The protesters silently held the images for a few seconds, as shown on a livestream of the hearing.

The committee’s chairman, Bob Goodlatte, then interrupted Bickert and asked the protesters to stop. They did and left the hearing.

The bottom of the images the protesters held up appeared to say FreedomFromFB.com, a website owned by the group Freedom from Facebook, which describes Facebook as a monopoly and urges visitors to sign a petition asking the Federal Trade Commission to break it up.

Some suggested the images were anti-Semitic – the image of an octopus stretched around the world has been used in the past to depict Jewish people in anti-Semitic cartoons.

Ryan Mac, a tech reporter for BuzzFeed, said one of the women who held up the signs told him it was a reference to a Standard Oil cartoon and wasn’t intended to be anti-Semitic.

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