Mark Zuckerberg sweats over Facebook privacy talk at D8

Mark Zuckerberg sweats a lot at the Wall Street Journal’s D8 conference over Facebook privacy topics.
Guilty as charged, that’s what Mark Zuckerberg’s body language was screaming aloud in spite his effort to keep a cool posture. But who can blame him? Facebook’s overtly relaxed approach to privacy has angered a lot of users who’ve been wondering if the social networking leader is making privacy settings too complex on purpose, in order to discourage us from protecting our data so they could sell us to advertisers at a premium.Once you sit opposite The Wall Street Journal’s laser-focused tech columnist Walt Mossberg and All Things Digital’s cunning Kara Swisher, with the camera’s rolling and the audience listening to every word you say, there’s no avoiding hard questions on everyone’s lips. Mark Zuckerber, Facebook’s co-founder and CEO, learned that lesson the hard way.

Just 26, Zuckerberg, the youngest CEO and billionaire in the Silicon Valley, has never felt comfortable in front of large audiences. He’s like a kid in a candy shop, say many who witnessed Zuckerberg’s public performances. Facebook’s chief should indeed take lessons in public speaking. During his segment at the D8 conference, the young CEO stuttered, appeared disoriented, and sweat a lot. Smelling blood, the two journos kept bombarding him with tough questions about Facebook’s privacy debacle, up to the point when he couldn’t even respond to a seemingly innocent request to take off his hoodie.

On violating people’s privacy and what’s under his hoodie

Asked to comment if he felt Facebook was violating people’s privacy, Zuckerberg didn’t know how to respond and instead talked about how they’d started the site as a dorm room project and how they declined lucrative offers during the incubation stage. Pressed to come clean on the matter, however, Zuckerberg had this to say:

If I knew what I know now then I hope I wouldn’ve made those mistakes, but I can’t go back and change the past, I can only do what we think is the right thing going forward.

The young entrepreneur graced the stage dressed in a thick skateboard-style hoodie, prompting Kara Swisher to demand he took it off for the sake of the women in the audience. That remark caught the uneasy Silicon Valley billionaire off guard. He did try to evade the request by insisting he never takes off the hoodie. It’s when Mossberg asked him to explain the value of instant personalization to users that Zuckerberg evaded the question and turned back to the hoodie thing. Realizing he’d feel much more comfortable and sweat less without it, he took it off to applause from the audience. And what was under Mark Zuckerber’s hoodie, you ask?

It’s a company hoodie, we print our mission on the inside – “Making the world more open and connected”

“Oh my God, it’s like a secret cult,” Kara Swisher quipped.

Mark Zuckerberg sweats over Facebook privacy talk at D8

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