Facebook Privacy Monday - Nixon flop-sweat edition

Posted on Monday, June 7th 2010 at 1:21 p.m.

At the Wall Street Journal’s D8 conference , Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was interviewed by the WSJ’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. With all the controversy swirling around Facebook’s privacy policies right now, this was a terrific opportunity for Zuckerberg to step up, articulate his company’s position, and calm fears that the social media site is an enterprise solely devoted to using its users’ private data to earn gobs of money from advertisers.

He failed miserably.

According to the liveblog of the event, Zuckerberg came across as evasive, lost, and sweating worse than Richard Simmons in Sweatin’ to the Oldies.

A classic quote from the blog:

My God, Zuckerberg is literally dissolving in a lake of his own sweat. He is visibly flushed, and you can see the beads of sweat rolling down his face. Could this be his Nixon moment?

Swisher was nice enough to attribute the rivers of sweat to Zuckerberg appearing onstage under spotlights wearing a hoodie and pressed him to remove it. After Zuckerberg removed the hoodie, Swisher noticed that Facebook’s motto and a giant logo was printed inside and commented “Oh my God, you’re a cult!”

Finally here is an edited video showing some of the interview highlights:

So if you’re expecting a coherent approach to privacy at Facebook (or even anything to do with Facebook), don’t hold your breath.

Bonus: If you are concerned about the privacy issues surrounding Facebook’s “Like” button , a userscript has been developed for Chrome and Firefox Greasemonkey users to remove the Like button from any sites you visit. Get it here  .

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