A former congressional staffer says there are two kinds of questions lawmakers should ask Mark Zuckerberg when he testifies

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify in front of Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday this week to answer questions about the role his company played in the harvesting of user data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
  • Former congressional staffer Alvaro Bedoya took to Twitter to lay out some context and outline the questions that he believes will make for a successful hearing.
  • Tuesday’s hearing will be the first of two, and will take place in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee at 2:15 p.m. ET.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be testifying in front of Congress on Tuesday to explain Facebook’s role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and former lead staffer to the Senate privacy subcommittee Alvaro Bedoya knows a thing or two about how it could go down.

Bedoya took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to explain what we should expect from the hearing, having organised a number of technology companies’ oversight hearings himself.

He begins by explaining that we shouldn’t expect to hear undisclosed facts – Zuckerberg and his team publicized the worst of it last week, in order to let the backlash die down and read reactions.

But that doesn’t mean the hearing itself is invaluable. In order to make the most of it, Bedoya thinks there are two types of questions that Congress can ask to make the most of the hearing

The first is “the ‘unanswerable’ question,” which Bedoya explains is effective because executives aren’t specifically trained to respond to a request for a promise, and “people promise things they normally wouldn’t” when they’re under pressure.

The second is the “request for a pledge.”

Zuckerberg has been preparing for his appearance in recent weeks, so we’ll see how he does in front of Congress – and whether the committees share Bedoya’s thoughts on the best way to handle the two hearings.

The first will be a joint hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Tuesday, April 10 at 2:15, and the second will be in front of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Wednesday, April 11. Zuckerberg will answer questions about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved the harvesting and improper use of data from an estimated 87 million profiles.

Here’s a guide to how and where you can watch Zuckerberg answer questions from Congress.

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