Mark Zuckerberg's notes for his Senate hearing, revealed

Key Points
  • The notes say Zuckerberg should not say that Facebook already does everything required under the European Union's upcoming General Data Protection Regulation rules.
  • The document provided the Facebook CEO with go-to lines to use in response to questions about whether he would resign and whether Facebook should be broken up.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a joint hearing of the US Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg brought notes to his U.S. Senate hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

The notes give insight into how Facebook prepared for Zuckerberg's first congressional hearing. They go beyond his answers to senators' questions, providing Facebook's latest official positions on big topics like succession and corporate restructuring.

Facebook did not officially release the notes. A photojournalist with the Associated Press, Andy Harnik, snapped a picture of two pages of the notes, and a CBS editor, Stefan Becket, shared them on Twitter hours after the hearing began. The notepad appears to be the same one that Zuckerberg was clutching during the hearing.


Here's a rundown of what was in them:

GDPR response. While Zuckerberg did talk about the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation rules, which go into effect next month, the notes instructed Zuckerberg not to suggest the company is covered. "Don't say we already do what GDPR requires," the notes state in comments set in bold.

China threat. The notes gave Zuck a convenient response to any questions about whether Facebook ought to be broken up. "US tech companies key asset for America; break up strengthens Chinese companies," the notes say.

The ad market is huge. The notes also offered Zuckerberg a way to combat any suggestions that Facebook is the only place to go for companies that want to reach lots of people through advertising. "Advertisers have choices too -- $650 billion market, we have 6%," the notes say.

What about Apple? The notes additionally contained references to Apple and its CEO, Tim Cook -- presumably to be used in case senators ask about Cook's recent comments that presumably concerned Facebook. "Lots of stories about apps misusing Apple data, never seen Apple notify people," Zuckerberg's notes say.

The emergency go-to statement. There was also a go-to statement that Zuckerberg could use in the event of especially strong criticism of Facebook. "If attacked: Respectfully, I reject that. Not who we are," the notes say.