MARK ZUCKERBERG: Chairman Walden, Ranking Member Pallone, and Members of the Committee. We face a number of important issues around privacy, safety, and democracy, and you will rightfully have some hard questions for me to answer. I realize the issues we’re talking about today aren’t just issues for Facebook and our community — they’re challenges for all of us as Americans. Thank you for having me here today, and I’m ready to take your questions.
SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): Thank you, Mr. Zuckerberg. I’ll remind my colleagues that we have each been allotted four minutes for questioning. Now, my first question: Mr. Zuckerberg, on the evening that Erica Albright unceremoniously dumped you at the Thirsty Scholar, is it not true that Eduardo Saverin rushed to your dormitory in the middle of the night to comfort you? While wearing a three-piece suit, no less?
ZUCKERBERG: Excuse me?
SEN. GRASSLEY: I’m just reading from this document submitted by your legal team. On page 14, we learn that Eduardo Saverin, a sweet-looking Brazilian sophomore, rushed up the stairs to your dormitory. He is alleged to have taken the stairs, and I quote, “two at a time.” Would you attach any significance to the fact that Mr. Saverin took the stairs two at a time?
ZUCKERBERG: I’m sorry. I was under the impression that I’d been summoned here to testify about Facebook’s data privacy practices, and I’m unsure how Ed — I mean, Mr. Saverin’s behavior in college is in any way relevant.
SENATOR BILL NELSON (D-FL): Yeah, yeah. We’ll get to that in a second. But what we really want to know, Mr. Zuckerberg, is this: when you told Mr. Saverin, “I need you,” and he replied, “I’m here for you,” did you not realize that he was, in fact, in love with you?
ZUCKERBERG: Um… I think I’ll take this opportunity to highlight, uh, some of the positive contributions that Facebook has made to the global community, like, such as, more than 70 million small businesses now use Facebook to grow and create jobs, and…
SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): What about when you were called before the Ad Board after the creation of FaceMash, and Mr. Saverin waited for you outside? In the snow? In the cold? In this document, on page 28, it says, “The heavy wooden door from the hearing slams shut behind Mark. Eduardo is waiting for him.”
ZUCKERBERG: I’m sorry, Senator Feinstein, where are you… which document are you citing, exactly?
SEN. FEINSTEIN: The screenplay of “The Social Network,” by Aaron Sorkin. Your legal team provided every member of Congress with a copy.
SEN. NELSON: And let me tell you, we are riveted.
ZUCKERBERG: I have the worst f—ing attorneys.
SENATOR ORRIN HATCH (R-UT): Mr. Zuckerberg, may I remind you that coarse language is forbidden on the Senate floor?
ZUCKERBERG: I apologize.
SEN. HATCH: Now, if we can get back to the task at hand, please. I was doing some reading the other night. Let me see if I can find the document.
ZUCKERBERG: Sure. Take your time.
SEN. HATCH: Ah, yes. I’d like to discuss this excellent piece of Mark-slash-Eduardo fanfiction I discovered on — let me see — Archive Of Our Own, wherein you and Mr. Saverin are reimagined as lesbians. Any thoughts on that, Mr. Zuckerberg?
ZUCKERBERG: Do I have any thoughts on… what?
SEN. FEINSTEIN: Oh! Is that the one where Mark is butch and Eduarda is femme, and they’re like, play-wrestling on the couch in the common room, and then —
ZUCKERBERG: Maybe I should, um, read from the statement I prepared. Facebook is an idealistic and optimistic company. For most of our existence, we focused on all the good that —
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT): I really like the one where Mark goes into a coma and Eduardo is called to the offices of Facebook because all of Mark’s passwords are oblique references to their past sex life, and Eduardo is the only one who can understand the password hints.
ZUCKERBERG: — that connecting people can bring. As Facebook has grown, people everywhere have gotten a powerful new tool to —
SEN. GRASSLEY: Excuse me. Excuse me. Let’s not let ourselves get sidetracked by tawdry talk of ribald fanfiction. Let’s focus on the issues at hand.
ZUCKERBERG: Thank you, Senator.
SEN. GRASSLEY: I know that I would like to know why you never picked Eduardo up from the airport. He waited for you for an hour. In the rain.
SEN. FEINSTEIN: According to the submitted document, Mr. Zuckerberg had just completed a 36-hour coding tear, and so he was taking a nap for a couple of hours.
SEN. HATCH: Well, that’s no excuse. If you know you’ll have to pick someone up from the airport, don’t go on a 36-hour coding tear. It just doesn’t make sense.
SEN. LEAHY: It makes perfect sense if you understand that Mr. Zuckerberg was fully aware of Mr. Saverin’s romantic feelings for him, and sought to play upon those feelings in order to take advantage of —
ZUCKERBERG: Would anybody like to ask me about election interference? Or ethnic cleansing? Or the security breach which allowed Cambridge Analytica to access the private data of 87 million people?
SENATOR JOHN THUNE (R-SD): No. Mr. Zuckerberg, why did you dilute Mr. Saverin’s shares to 0.03%?
ZUCKERBERG: I don’t —
SEN. FEINSTEIN: Where’s your hoodie? Hmm? Where are your f— you flip-flops?
SEN. HATCH: Senator Feinstein! No coarse language on the Senate floor.
SEN. FEINSTEIN: It was in the document submitted by his attorneys. I thought we could quote the document.
ZUCKERBERG: May I please be excused?
SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): No. We just subpoena’d Eduardo and he’s on his way over so you two can work this out.
SEN. LEAHY: Oh, that’s wonderful.
ZUCKERBERG: What if I just admit that I’m incredibly guilty?
SEN. GRASSLEY: We don’t care about that. We care about true love.