US Senator tells Zuckerberg to use English instead of Swahili
A US Republican senator on Tuesday told Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to use English and not Swahili during a Senate hearing.
Senator John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, was questioning Zuckerberg on Facebook’s user agreement, which he said is too complicated and meant to legally protect Facebook and not to inform users of their rights.
He asked Zuckerberg to instruct the company’s lawyers to write a user agreement that is not in Swahili – that can be understood by everyone.
“I am going to suggest to you that you go back home and you rewrite it and tell your $1,200-an hour lawyers, no disrespect, they’re good, but tell them that you want it written in English and not Swahili, so the average American can understand it. That would be a start,” Senator Kennedy told Zuckerberg.
Social media users have criticized the senator for the “Swahili” reference, calling it a racial slur.
Questioned by CNN‘s Erin Burnett later on whether he should apologize for the reference following the outrage it caused, Sen. Kennedy said “there is nothing to apologize for. I think everyone understood the point I’m trying to make.”
Zuckerberg appeared before the Senate to answer to recent discoveries that Facebook allowed the harvesting of the data of 87 million Facebook users to third parties without the user’s knowledge.
Here is the video of the senator.
Here are some of the people who did not agree with the Senator.
@SenJohnKennedy — Swahili is spoken in Tanzania, Burundi, Congo (Kinshasa) Kenya, Mayotte, Mozambique, Oman, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, UAE and — the USA – I assume you meant that not as dig, right? #Zuckerberg
— Andy Kopsa (@andykopsa) April 10, 2018
Non-Swahili? Come on with the casual racism, Sen. Kennedy. Plenty of people speak and understand Swahili. It’s not their fault you don’t.
— Chris Garaffa (@cmg) April 10, 2018
— Lisa Rose (@ecotist) April 10, 2018
Who is this southern belle draggin #Zuckerberg for filth with lowkey racist comments "not in Swahili"…. Mark should respond: "Senator, there are upwards of 5 million users who speak Swahili… What was the question again?" #FacebookDataLeaks #Zuckerbergtestimony
— blasianFMA?️????? (@blasianFMA) April 10, 2018
I get the "it's-a-language-nobody-knows" connotation. But maybe he should've said Babylonian or Sanskrit or ancient Greek. Google Translate offers Swahili, for cryin' out loud. Millions of people speak it.
— F Crouter (@F_Crouter) April 10, 2018
So now Senator Kennedy comes for Swahili as if it's a language no one understands? Millions of Africans speak the language, sir.
— Tamia Booker (@TamiaDBooker) April 10, 2018