In a Senate testimony, a calm and collected Mark Zuckerberg (not a typo) answered senators’ questions about Facebook’s data privacy issues, its role in Russian election interference, and the sustainability of its ad-based business model…and that was just the first half hour.

Forget the noise, here’s the actual news that came out of the hearing:

  • Facebook did not alert the FTC when it first learned Cambridge Analytica accessed the data of 87 million users.
  • Zuckerberg promised there would always be a free version of Facebook.
  • He said he’ll work with lawmakers to help craft the “right regulation.”
  • Facebook is cooperating with Robert Mueller’s investigation, and at least one employee was interviewed.

Bottom line: The narrative going into the hearing was that lawmakers would look to drop the regulatory hammer on Facebook. Zuckerberg’s strong performance calmed those fears…for now.

At the very least, investors gave Zuck a standing O. Facebook shares had their best day in two years.

The line everyone is talking about: Senator Orrin Hatch asked how Facebook makes money while keeping its service free. Zuckerberg paused and replied with a smile, “Senator, we run ads.”

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