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Zuckerberg Avoids Damage, Can’t Bridge Trust Gap

One of the few tough, striking lines of questioning during Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate testimony Tuesday came from Sen. Lindsey Graham, who scrutinized Facebook’s competitive power. “You don’t think you have a monopoly?” he asked. “It doesn’t feel like that to me,” the Facebook CEO said, ticking off competitors like Amazon, Google, Twitter and Microsoft.

It was the kind of response that helped Mr. Zuckerberg mostly breeze through the five-hour hearing without much damage. But the exchange illustrated one of the many divides between Washington, D.C., and Silicon Valley that had senators and the Facebook CEO often talking past each other. Meanwhile, while at least a half dozen senators brought up potential new regulation on privacy, few proposals were specific or seemed likely to gain bipartisan support. That could make any meaningful regulatory change tough to achieve.

Mr. Zuckerberg has said the company will do better. Along with his solid hearing performance, that helps stave off near-term damage to the company. But Facebook’s disconnect with Washington will linger.

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