Zuckerberg: 'I am not a lizard'

In his latest question-and-answer session, the Facebook co-founder answers oddball questions, including one about whether he's secretly a reptile. He also hangs out with comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
3 min read
Enlarge Image

What would Kramer do on Facebook Live? Nothing, Seinfeld says.

Screenshot by Ian Sherr/CNET

If you let anyone ask you a question, be prepared for doozies.

That's probably how Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg shrugged off a tongue-in-cheek message from a fan who was watching his Tuesday question-and-answer forum on the social network's live video service.

"Are the allegations true that you're secretly a lizard?" Zuck read. "I'm going to have to go with no. I am not a lizard."

So started an hour in which the 32-year-old head of the world's largest social network discussed his daughter Max, his efforts to build artificial intelligence software, and his broken arm. All told, about 117,000 people around the world tuned in to watch.

He held the event using Facebook's Live video service, which promises to make everyone with a phone and an internet connection the star of their own broadcast. It's become must-have functionality in Silicon Valley, with established companies, like Amazon and Twitter, and startups, such as Meerkat, building and buying live video services.

Watch this: Seinfeld makes Zuckerberg uncomfortable with personal questions

Facebook began widely offering its own live video function to users last year. Since then, it's become a venue for everything from celebrities hyping their latest movies to a mom showing off a toy mask that looks like the Star Wars character Chewbacca. The event marked the first time Zuck used Facebook Live for a Q&A.

And since it's live, there's no editing. In this case, Zuckerberg had to continue the broadcast through an attack of the hiccups. Later, he grabbed comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who'd visited the company's Menlo Park, California, offices to try Facebook's Oculus virtual reality goggles.

Seinfeld's burning question: What does Zuckerberg do first in the morning? "You go to the bathroom," Seinfeld posited.

"No, the first thing I do is look at my phone," Zuckerberg said matter of factly. And since he's nearsighted and doesn't wear his contacts to bed, Zuckerberg said he has to hold his phone very close to his face. "I didn't expect to talk about this publicly."

We didn't expect him to either.

Zuckerberg's been holding public question-and-answer sessions for more than a year, discussing issues ranging from hate speech to being a new father. (He says being a dad is "awesome," though apparently his daughter has been waking him up lately).

He used the session to address weighty subjects like connecting the world, entrepreneurship and the potential of VR. Zuck also dispelled a rumor that Facebook would charge for its service someday.

"Facebook is free. It always has been," he said. "We're not going to charge. That's why we're ad-supported."

Zuckerberg also gave an update on his effort to build artificial intelligence software for his home. He can now voice-control the cameras and gates at his house, and he might hold another live video session soon to show it off.

Seinfeld wasn't impressed.

"To get the door is not that much work," he said mockingly. "[You're] going to put in a tremendous amount of work to save us walking to the door and opening it."

Zuckerberg said he took on the project to tackle writing code, rather than because he's lazy.

In fact, he broke his arm falling off his bike while training for a triathlon. He apparently struggled to manage clip-in cycling shoes.

Watch this: Seinfeld calls out Zuckerberg on over-engineering