Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by the Senate Tuesday for allowing Cambridge Analytica, a data company that worked for Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016, to harvest user data from his platform.
However, little was made of the fact that the Obama presidential campaign in 2012 used the same tactic with the social network. Former Obama campaign staffers have openly bragged about how Facebook turned a blind eye to the practice and even congratulated them. (RELATED: Obama Staffer: Facebook Knew Presidential Campaign Improperly Seized Data, Looked the Other Way)
Republican North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis raised this discrepancy in his forceful questioning of Zuckerberg on Tuesday.
Tillis said, “I think that we need to fully examine what Cambridge Analytica did,” before noting a number of articles cataloging the Obama campaign for doing the same.
“Somebody asked you earlier if it made you mad about what Cambridge Analytica did,” Tillis noted, saying Zuck should be “equally mad” about the Obama campaign.
“When you do your research on Cambridge Analytica, I would appreciate it if you would start back from the first high-profile national campaign that exploited Facebook data,” the senator said.
Facebook has been silent on the Obama campaign scraping for data.
Tillis ended his remarks by calling for the Facebook staffers who allowed the Obama campaign to harvest data to be fired.
“I also believe that that person who may have looked the other way when the whole social graph was extracted for the Obama campaign, if they are still working for you, they probably should not. At least there should be a business code of conduct that says that you do not play favorites. You are trying to create a fair place for people to share ideas.”