Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced a grilling on Capitol Hill over the data privacy scandal rocking his company. Zuckerberg was seemingly prepared for questions on a range of issues from Cambridge Analytica to Facebook’s default-privacy settings.
The social media mogul, however, appeared taken off-guard when he was asked about his sexist college website, FaceMash.
Zuckerberg created FaceMash in October 2003 when he was a student at Harvard. He worked around Harvard’s computer security settings on its online dorm directories to gather photos of students to rate their looks. FaceMash went viral across campus as students rated side-by-side images of their classmates. FaceMash was quickly taken down and prompted Harvard to call Zuckerberg in front of a disciplinary panel.
Jump to 2018 and a Congressional panel, and enter Congressman Billy Long (R.-MO). Long asked an apparently annoyed Zuckerberg what FaceMash is and whether or not it is still up-and-running.
Zuckerberg replied, “No, Congressman. FaceMash was a prank website that I launched in college, in my dorm room, before I started Facebook. There was a movie about this, or it said it was about this, it was of unclear truth. The claim that FaceMash was somehow connected to the development of Facebook, it isn’t, it wasn’t… It actually has nothing to do with Facebook.”
Long continued, however, and asked for further clarification regarding the purpose of FaceMash, “You put up pictures of two women and decided which one was more attractive of the two, is that right?”
Zuckerberg responded saying: “Congressman, that is an accurate description of the prank website I made when I was a sophomore.”
Watch CEO Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and Missouri Congressman Billy Long’s exchange above, and don’t miss the media mogul’s reactions.