Mark Zuckerberg had nothing new to say, while MEPs seemed determined to introduce new regulations. Those interested in the future of social media may do well to tune their antennas to Brussels rather than to Facebook headquarters.
The Quote Finder
This article is largely based on the information gathered by the Quote Finder, a tool that we developed in order to easily monitor and browse the tweets published by all the members of the European Parliament, spotting trending keywords, influential actors, and more. The tool is freely available to everyone.
Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to the European Parliament has raised substantial interest among MEPs, with 133 MEPs mentioning the name of the Facebook CEO on Twitter yesterday. He may well have been ushered in through the entrance usually reserved for heads of state, as pointed out by MEP Ana Gomes (S&D group), but he was certainly not welcomed with deference by the MEPs who asked him questions.
For anybody who attended the meeting or followed it in live streaming, it was immediately obvious that the format of the event was absurd: representatives of EP groups took about one hour to ask dozens of questions all together, thus allowing Zuckerberg to cherry-pick topics and, ultimately, avoid answering them. Indeed, none of the 13 MEPs who commented on the format had anything good to say about it.