Mark Zuckerberg rides electric hydrofoil surfboard amid criticism


Mark Zuckerberg was spotted letting loose as he fooled around on his water toy, days after he was grilled by senators over limiting the bombshell Hunter Biden story on Facebook. 

The 36-year-old was all smiles as he was photographed catching some waves on his electric hydrofoil surfboard on Saturday, even wiping out at one point. 

Dressed in skin-tight black pants, a long sleeved North Face shirt and a red helmet, Zuckerberg was in high spirits, accompanied by a county lifeguard and paddle-boarding champion Mariko Strickland Lum, who laughed as she filmed him surfing.  

The billionaire appeared to have gone easy on the sunscreen, unlike in July when he was snapped with his face completely covered in white lotion, with the image quickly going viral.  

The sighting comes after the CEO told lawmakers last week during a hearing before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, that he was warned by the FBI to be on the lookout for the spread of ‘hack-and-leak’ disinformation, including ‘troves’ of documents.

Zuckerberg made the revelation as he defended his decision to limit the reach of the New York Post article revealing damaging contents of Hunter Biden’s emails. 

He said the FBI warned him ahead of time that these disinformation campaigns would be in influx ahead of Election Day on Tuesday.

Mark Zuckerberg was spotted letting loose as he fooled around on his water toy, days after he was grilled by senators over limiting the bombshell Hunter Biden story on Facebook 

The 36-year-old was all smiles as he was photographed catching some waves on his electric hydrofoil surfboard on Saturday

The 36-year-old was all smiles as he was photographed catching some waves on his electric hydrofoil surfboard on Saturday

WIPEOUT! Zuckerberg took a tumble at one point, sending the device flying

WIPEOUT! Zuckerberg took a tumble at one point, sending the device flying 

Paddle-boarding champion Mariko Strickland Lum laughed as she appeared to film the Facebook CEO

Paddle-boarding champion Mariko Strickland Lum laughed as she appeared to film the Facebook CEO

Dressed in skin-tight black pants, a long sleeved North Face shirt and a red helmet, Zuckerberg seemed to be in high spirits, for the outing with Lum

Dressed in skin-tight black pants, a long sleeved North Face shirt and a red helmet, Zuckerberg seemed to be in high spirits, for the outing with Lum

The billionaire appeared to have gone easy on the sunscreen, unlike in July when he was snapped with his face completely covered in white lotion, with the image quickly going viral

‘One of the threats that the FBI has alerted our companies and the public to was the possibility of a hack and leak operation in the days or weeks leading up to this election,’ Zuckerberg told the hearing.

‘So you had both public testimony from from the FBI and in private meetings alerts that were given to at least our company, I assume the others as well, that suggested that we be on high alert and sensitivity that if a trove of documents appeared that that we should view that with suspicion that it might be part of a foreign manipulation attempt,’ he continued.

Republican Senator Ron Johnson later pushed Zuckerberg on if the FBI contacted him regarding the New York Post story and its validity.

‘Did the FBI contact you and say the New York Post story was false?’ the Wisconsin senator asked

‘Senator, not about that story specifically,’ Zuckerberg admitted.

‘Why did you throttle it back?’ he asked.

‘They alerted us of a – to be on heightened alert around a risk of hack and leak operations around a release of trove of information,’ the Facebook founder said.

‘To be clear on this, we did not censor the content,’ he reiterated. ‘We flagged it for fact checkers to review, and pending that review we temporarily constrained its distribution to make sure it didn’t spread wildly while it was being reviewed.’

He added, ‘But it’s not up to us either to determine if it’s Russian interference nor whether it’s true. We rely on the FBI and intelligence and fact checkers to determine that.’

Zuckerberg appeared virtually, along with Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, for a hearing regarding whether social media platforms and news distributors should still be protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Zuckerberg was all smiles as he headed back indoors after his jaunt

Zuckerberg was all smiles as he headed back indoors after his jaunt

The sighting comes after the CEO told lawmakers last week during a hearing before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, that he was warned by the FBI to be on the lookout for the spread of 'hack-and-leak' disinformation, including 'troves' of documents

The sighting comes after the CEO told lawmakers last week during a hearing before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, that he was warned by the FBI to be on the lookout for the spread of 'hack-and-leak' disinformation, including 'troves' of documents

The sighting comes after the CEO told lawmakers last week during a hearing before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, that he was warned by the FBI to be on the lookout for the spread of ‘hack-and-leak’ disinformation, including ‘troves’ of documents

He said the FBI warned him ahead of time that these disinformation campaigns would be in influx ahead of Election Day on Tuesday

He said the FBI warned him ahead of time that these disinformation campaigns would be in influx ahead of Election Day on Tuesday

Zuckerberg made the revelation as he defended his decision to limit the reach of the New York Post article revealing damaging contents of Hunter Biden's emails

Zuckerberg made the revelation as he defended his decision to limit the reach of the New York Post article revealing damaging contents of Hunter Biden’s emails

Zuckerberg claimed in the hearing that the decision to lessen the spread was made as Facebook saw a rise in Russia, Iran and China attempting to use the social media platform to run disinformation campaigns just a weeks before the U.S. presidential election

Zuckerberg claimed in the hearing that the decision to lessen the spread was made as Facebook saw a rise in Russia, Iran and China attempting to use the social media platform to run disinformation campaigns just a weeks before the U.S. presidential election

The 36-year-old was photographed all smiles while he caught some waves on his electric hydrofoil surfboard on Saturday, even wiping out at one point

The 36-year-old was photographed all smiles while he caught some waves on his electric hydrofoil surfboard on Saturday, even wiping out at one point

Zuckerberg drove the boat back to land after he tired of surfing

Zuckerberg drove the boat back to land after he tired of surfing 

This measure protects the tech companies from being held liable for content that users post. Some argue, however, that if websites continue to police what can be posted, they are no longer third-party and can therefore should be held liable for the content.

They claim that it is needed to protect speech online.

The hearing Wednesday also forced the three CEOs to face questions over how their respective platforms handle politics as Republicans continue to bash Big Tech for disproportionately censoring or stifling conservative voices.

It also comes less than a week before the election and as Twitter and Facebook have faced intense backlash for blocking the spread of the New York Post story, which many questioned the validity of considering it revealed damaging information about Democratic Joe Biden so close to the election.

Facebook argued it wanted to limit the spread of disinformation, as some of the claims in the article were unsubstantiated – even though the Post was citing directly from Hunter Biden’s hard drive, which was left at a computer repair shop.

Zuckerberg claimed that the decision to lessen the spread was made as Facebook saw a rise in Russia, Iran and China attempting to use the social media platform to run disinformation campaigns just a weeks before the U.S. presidential election.

‘We also see continued attempts by Russia and other countries, especially Iran and China to run these kind of information operations,’ he told the panel Wednesday. ‘We also see an increase in, kind of, domestic operations around the world Fortunately, we’ve been able to build partnerships across the industry, noth with companies here today and with law enforcement and the intelligence community to be able to share signals to identify these threats sooner.’

Facebook limited distribution of the Post’s main story, which had several offshoot stories from, while its outside fact-checkers reviewed the claims made in the article, spokesman Andy Stone said when the article was published two weeks ago. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended Wednesday Facebook limiting the reach of the New York Post article revealing contents of Hunter Biden's hard drive as he said the FBI warned of major 'hack-and-leak' misinformation campaigns ahead of the election

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended Wednesday Facebook limiting the reach of the New York Post article revealing contents of Hunter Biden’s hard drive as he said the FBI warned of major ‘hack-and-leak’ misinformation campaigns ahead of the election

Facebook argued it wanted to limit the spread of disinformation, as some of the claims in the article were unsubstantiated ¿ even though the Post was citing directly from Hunter Biden's hard drive, which was left at a computer repair shop

Facebook argued it wanted to limit the spread of disinformation, as some of the claims in the article were unsubstantiated – even though the Post was citing directly from Hunter Biden’s hard drive, which was left at a computer repair shop

This meant that while it was under review, Facebook’s algorithms didn’t place posts linking to the story highly in people’s news feeds, which severely reduced the number of users who saw it during that time.

The review did little to limit the spread the article, however, as the same day it was published the article was liked, shared or commented on almost 600,000 times on Facebook.

Twitter took a much more aggressive approach to censoring the article by suspending accounts that posted it, and only allowing them back into their account after deleting the tweet containing the link.

Dorsey also implemented shortly after the article was published earlier this month a measure that would block Twitter users completely form sharing the link in a post. Up until Wednesday afternoon, users were prompted with a screen claiming Twitter deemed the link ‘potentially harmful’ so they could not share it if they tried. 

In his opening remarks, Senator Wicker said that while the Section 230 liability shield has protected companies from ‘potentially ruinous lawsuits’ it also had allowed Big Tech to ‘stifle’ users they disagree with.

‘But it has also given these internet platforms the ability to control, stifle, and even censor content in whatever manner meets their respective standards. The time has come for that free pass to end,’ the chairman’s opening statement reads.

Republicans argue this protection for Big Tech should be void if these websites censor content and police what their users can post.

As a result of the presidents attacks, calls for reforming Section 230 intensified from Republican lawmakers ahead of the November 3 elections.

But the tech bosses pushed back.    

 In their prepared testimony, Dorsey, Zuckerberg and Pichai addressed the proposals for changes to a provision of a 1996 law that has served as the foundation for unfettered speech on the internet. Critics in both parties say that immunity under Section 230 enables the social media companies to abdicate their responsibility to impartially moderate content.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Dorsey, along with Facebook’s Mark Zuckrberg (left) and Google CEO Sundar Pichai (right) were summoned to Capitol Hill Wednesday for a hearing on how they handle political content on their websites, and argued that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is crucial to allowing free expression on the internet

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey decided on a much stricter stance with the New York Post story, barring users from posting the link and suspending accounts who did post it and not unlocking their accounts until they deleted it

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey decided on a much stricter stance with the New York Post story, barring users from posting the link and suspending accounts who did post it and not unlocking their accounts until they deleted it

Zuckerberg acknowledged that Congress ‘should update the law to make sure it´s working as intended.’

Dorsey and Pichai urged caution in making any changes. ‘Undermining Section 230 will result in far more removal of online speech and impose severe limitations on our collective ability to address harmful content and protect people online,’ Dorsey said.

Pichai appealed to lawmakers ‘to be very thoughtful about any changes to Section 230 and to be very aware of the consequences those changes might have on businesses and consumers.’

Pichai said Google operates without political bias and that doing otherwise would be against its business interests. He called 

The committee was unable to establish contact with Facebook Inc’s Zuckerberg and declared a short recess. He appeared shortly after and said: ‘I was having a hard time connecting myself.’

Zuckerberg said he supports changing the law but also warned that tech platforms are likely to censor more to avoid legal risks if Section 230 is repealed.

All three CEOs agreed the companies should be held liable if the platforms act as a publisher – on its face a concession but in reality, a restatement of their position that they are not publishers.

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