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The Lawmakers Who Will Dictate Facebook’s Regulatory Future

Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony in front of several dozen senators Tuesday is likely to produce confrontational sound bites from lawmakers of both parties. Whether fiery hearings will lead to legislative action is far less clear, though there are signs that Facebook’s CEO will contend with more hostility from Washington in the coming months.

Facebook will be a test case for legislators contemplating ways to rein in internet companies, which face few federal laws regulating the collection and use of personal information. The new politics around big tech might diverge from traditional party lines, lobbyists, congressional aides and other Washington insiders said, where Republicans resist regulation and Democrats are more open to it. And a few members of each party, profiled below, are likely to hold outsize influence in the debate.

He said he wasn’t “endorsing” a particular policy measure yet but pointed to the potential need for social media companies to authenticate the identities of users to prevent fake accounts, as well as to let users carry their data to new services. “I think these companies have lived under this patina of ‘Hey we’re all great, we only do good things.’ They do a lot of good things, but there’s a dark underbelly,’” he said.

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Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale
Founding Partner, Eight
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya
Founder & Managing Partner, SocialCapital
Tina Sharkey
Tina Sharkey
CEO, Brandless
Jonah Peretti
Jonah Peretti
CEO, Buzzfeed
Adam D'Angelo
Adam D'Angelo
CEO, Quora
Brit Morin
Brit Morin
Founder & CEO, Brit + CO
Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz
Co-Founder, Asana
Christina Miller
Christina Miller
President & General Manager, Turner
Max Levchin
Max Levchin
CEO, Affirm
Adam Mosseri
Adam Mosseri
Director of Product, Facebook
Alex Mather
Alex Mather
The Athletic
Martha Josephson
Martha Josephson
Partner, Egon Zehnder
James Murdoch
James Murdoch
Co-Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox
Andrew Kortina
Andrew Kortina
Founder, Venmo
Ben Chestnut
Ben Chestnut
Co-Founder & CEO, Mailchimp
Ruchi Sanghvi
Ruchi Sanghvi
VP Operations, Dropbox