Army of life-size Mark Zuckerberg cardboard cutouts storms Capitol lawn
ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) — Ahead of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate hearing Tuesday, an army of 100 life-size Mark Zuckerberg cardboard cutouts stood on the Capitol lawn in Washington, D.C.
The cutouts were wearing t-shirts that read “fix Fakebook.”
The display, titled “Four Solutions to Fix Facebook,” was organized by a left-leaning global advocacy group, Avaaz, with a goal to “call attention to the hundreds of millions of fake accounts still spreading disinformation on Facebook,” the organization told ABC News in a statement.
“Avaaz has set up a fake army of Mark Zuckerbergs to flood the U.S. Capitol just as fake news and fake profiles have flooded our democracies,” said Nell Greenberg, campaign director at Avaaz, in a press release. “As Zuckerberg gets ready to testify before the Senate, hundreds of thousands of people are calling on him to delete ‘Fakebook’ by banning all fake accounts. They banned thousands in France and Germany to protect democracy, it’s time to extend the same protections to the US and worldwide.”
Over 880,000 people worldwide signed an open letter to Zuckerberg, internet CEOs, and government regulators asking for them to protect democracies, Avaaz wrote in the statement.
The four solutions they are proposing are that Facebook, internet CEOs and government regulators should “ban all bots, alert the public any and every time users see fake or disinformation, fund fact checkers around the world, and submit to an independent audit to review the scale and scope of fake news,” Avaaz wrote in the statement.
Though they aren’t expecting a direct reaction from Zuckerberg and aren’t sure he saw the “Zuckerbots” when he arrived on the Hill, the group is also running ads in Politico and the Washington Post on “how to fix Fakebook.”
“It will be very hard for him to miss it,” a spokesperson for Avaaz said.
Zuckerberg will testify Tuesday in a highly-anticipated hearing on privacy concerns, fake news and alleged foreign efforts to use Facebook to spread disinformation before the 2016 election, issues that have set the social media giant back on its heels.
“It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well,” Zuckerberg plans to tell 44 members of Congress, according to his prepared remarks, expressing contrition yet again for allowing third parties to harvest the data without the consent of Facebook’s users.
“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,” Zuckerberg’s planned remarks read.
Avaaz is the same advocacy group behind last month’s display of 7,000 children’s shoes, also on the Capitol lawn, in memory of every child who has died due to gun violence.
7,000 children’s shoes laid out on Capitol lawn to honor lives lost to gun violence
In February, the advocacy organization put up a trio of mobile billboards by Sen. Marco Rubio’s home in Miami, Florida. The billboards asked why there was no congressional movement on gun control, with one of the billboards reading, “How come, Marco Rubio?”
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