It was an education -- not about Zuckerberg, who looked like he had pregamed with some combination of Thorazine and Xanax -- but about just how uniformed about technology our congressional representatives are.
While the New York Times points out, fairly, that Senate and House reps deal with lots of complex issues and rely on their staffers to school them up, it was a little disconcerting that more than one rep was only able to relate to technology because "it happened to one of my kids."
Apparently, only the Russians have any sense of just how powerful Facebook is, since clearly our reps have little to no direct experience with it.
Here are some verbatims from the broadcast:
Senator: I see that you have 2 billion users, Mr. Zuckerberg. Can I get a list of those in my district?
Senator: If I carry my phone with me when I power-walk and keep the Facebook app open, will it keep track of my steps and how many calories I have burned? That would be sooooo cool!
Senator: Since my phone has a microphone, it is true that you can hear my phone calls? Especially the ones to you-know-who that I am keeping a secret from the Mrs.?
Senator: Can I hire you guys to help me get reelected?
Senator: I'm confused. So YouTube is NOT part of Facebook? Shoot, I had prepared this really cool statement on inappropriate video, but I will yield the rest of my time.
Senator: Why, when I yell ALEXA! at my Facebook app, nothing happens? Should we pass some sort of regulation on that?
Senator: My daughter uses Instagram ALL the time now. Even at dinner — which really pisses me off, know what I mean? Are you using the same subliminal hypnotic technology you use to addict people to their News Feeds?
Senator: It's kind of ironic, isn't it that, we — who, during elections, use every available data source to try and sway voters — are lecturing you about privacy? Did I mention I also have NSA security clearance to read your emails and listen to your phone calls?
Senator: Could you refresh my memory of the impact of your $100 million gift to the Newark school system five minutes before "The Social Network" hit theaters? You kinda screwed the Winklevoss brothers, huh?
Senator: Since we do it with almost every other industry, could you please submit a list of regulations you think we should pass that you'd be comfortable with? That'd be great.
Senator: With a net worth of $64 billion, you probably support a good number of congressional races. Would you mind terribly if my chief of staff sets up a meet, say next Friday at the Mayflower?
Senator: Here is a quiz your can use for your nefarious data collection scheme: "How many of the nearly 50 items that you promised to follow up on will ever again see the light of day?"