While testifying in front of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the former Obama campaign staffer who claimed the company allowed the Obama campaign to do things “they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side” was lying.
Majority Whip Steve Scalise asked Zuckerberg about remarks made Carol Davidsen on the 2012 presidential election.
In a series of tweets, Davidsen, the former director of integration and media analytics for Obama for America claimed Facebook knew — and approved of — the Obama campaign using data from Facebook users. She said “Facebook was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn’t stop us once they realized that was what we were doing.” Davidsen also said they received approval from Facebook because they “were on our side.” Confusingly, she also said she was “100% positive that Facebook activity recruits and staffs people that are on the other side.”
… One of the lead digital heads of the Obama campaign said recently: “Facebook was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn’t stop us once they realized that was what we were doing. They came to office in the days following election recruiting and were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.” Now, that’s a direct quote from one of the heads of the Obama digital team. What would she mean by they, Facebook, were on our side?
Zuckerberg responded that Facebook “didn’t allow the Obama campaign to do anything that any developer on the platform wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do.”
Pressed again, Scalise asked Zuckerberg if he thought Davidsen was making an inaccurate statement. Zuckerberg responded in the affirmative.
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Zuckerberg’s answer comes after he testified in front of members of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday about concerns over data and privacy.