James Woods Calls Out 'Weasel Zuckerberg' Ahead of Congressional Hearing


Actor and outspoken right-wing commentator James Woods weighed in this week on the controversy surrounding Facebook’s use of personal user data.

In a tweet posted Tuesday morning, he offered a prediction regarding the social media giant and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“When you put people’s precious photos and private personal data on the auction block behind their backs every day, you’re not going to be a king for long,” Woods wrote.

He referred to the 33-year-old tech titan as “WeaselZuckerberg” in a hashtag following his tweet.

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In another hashtag, Woods showed support for a social media effort to “#DeleteFacebook” in the wake of revelations about the platform and concerns about data privacy.

The online comment came just prior to Zuckerberg’s scheduled congressional testimony on these issues.

Forty senators, representing the judiciary and commerce committees, will have four minutes each to question Zuckerberg on Tuesday. The testimony is set to continue Wednesday, when the embattled CEO will address members of the energy and commerce committees in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Much of the questioning by lawmakers is expected to hinge on the practices of Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that obtained information about millions of Facebook users in its effort to aid the Trump campaign.

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Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., is among the legislators who want to know how much Facebook knew about the firm’s actions and when.

The senator said he does not believe the company “has been fully forthcoming” in its account of the situation.

“I called out Facebook back in December of ’16,” Warner said. “In the spring of ’17, I questioned microtargeting and the use of this really sketchy firm Cambridge Analytica. Early on, for most of 2017, they blew that off.”

While Zuckerberg is available for questioning, lawmakers are likely to press him on any number of issues that have previously hounded the company.

As Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., described it, Facebook is “in a moment of reckoning” because of its behavior on a number of fronts.

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“The question is one of responsibility for individual data, and it goes well beyond Cambridge Analytica,” he said.

A Republican colleague indicated he is interested in learning more about the company’s advertising policies.

“Facebook’s lawyers say they have 500,000 unique advertisers a month,” he said in anticipating of this week’s testimony. “I don’t think they know who is running ads and issue campaigns. We need to talk about how we’re going to find out.”

For his part, Zuckerberg presented a written statement, which consisted in part of an apology.

“But it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well,” the statement read. “That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
Professional Memberships
Online News Association
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment