Zuckerberg cardboard cutouts are spamming Washington, DC

An army of 2D Mark Zuckerbergs has stormed Capitol Hill. They were set up by activists calling out the Facebook CEO.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Alfred Ng
Richard Nieva
2 min read

One hundred cutouts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stand outside the US Capitol.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Will the real Mark Zuckerberg please stand up?

Hours before Zuckerberg was set to testify to Congress, members of activist network Avaaz set up 100 cardboard clones of the Facebook CEO outside the US Capitol, just a block away from where Zuck would spend more than five hours answering lawmakers' questions. All the fake Zuckerbergs wore T-shirts reading "Fix Fakebook," a message meant to call out the "hundreds of millions of fake accounts still spreading disinformation on Facebook," the group said in a statement.

Avaaz said it wants Zuckerberg to ban all bots on Facebook, as well as alert the public any time users see disinformation on the social network. Facebook didn't respond to a request for comment.

Zuckerberg's testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday comes as Facebook weathers the biggest crisis in its 14-year history. Data from 87 million Facebook accounts was allegedly used by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that reportedly used it to craft campaign messages. In an opening statement, Zuckerberg outlined what Facebook is doing to prevent data abuse and election interference in the future.

A few yards from the cutouts, a group of 15 protesters, some dressed in costumes like bunnies and Spider-Man, chanted, "Zuckerberg, you're absurd," with signs writing "#OurPrivacyMatters."

Daniel Taylor, the protest organizer, said Facebook had issues with transparency. He also complained that Facebook didn't notify users about the Cambridge Analytica issue quickly enough.

"They knew for three years," Taylor said. "They had to get caught. Honestly, I'm not sure they could gain back our trust." 

Another group of protesters from "Code Pink" were promptly kicked out before the hearing kicked off. The group wore large sunglasses with "Stop Spying" written on them. They also held a sign reading, "Like us on Facebook" up as they were being removed.

Watch this: Seven of our favorite moments from Zuck's congressional testimony

First published April 10, 9:21 a.m. PT.

Update, 4:14 p.m.: Adds details from other protests on Capitol Hill related to Zuckerberg's hearing.

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