News & Politics

100 Creepy Life-Sized Zuckerberg Cutouts Appear on Capitol Lawn ahead of Hearing

100 cardboard cutouts of the Facebook founder and CEO stand outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Kevin Wolf/AP images for AVAAZ)

An army of one hundred creepy cardboard cutouts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on the lawn of the Capitol this morning ahead of his appearance at a joint Senate committee about Facebook’s use and abuse of user data.

The cutouts, which were donning “fix facebook” t-shirts, were placed on the lawn by Avaaz, an advocacy group that is drawing attention to millions of fake accounts on Facebook. They’re calling for Facebook to submit to an independent audit.

The group also carried a banner with the “fix fakebook” message.

Avaaz campaigners hold a banner in front of 100 cardboard cutouts of the Facebook founder and CEO stand outside the U.S. Capitol, before Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the Senate, in Washington on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. (Kevin Wolf/AP images for AVAAZ)

Avaaz posted an open letter to Zuckerberg:

To Mark Zuckerberg, Internet CEOs and Government Regulators:

Enough is enough. We call on you to protect our democracies and immediately:

  • Tell the Truth about fake users and disinformation campaigns, including through independent audits.
  • Ban the Bots – ban ALL fake or imposter user accounts.
  • Alert the Public – notify all users EACH time they are exposed to fake or malicious content, and correct the record.
  • Fund the Fact-Checkers – an independent army big enough and fast enough to stem the spread of lies.

Crucial elections are just months away. Facebook’s motto used to be Move Fast and Break Things. Now you need to Move Fast and Fix Things.

Sincerely, citizens from across the world.

The group says its mission is to “organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.”

“Avaaz empowers millions of people from all walks of life to take action on pressing global, regional and national issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change,” the group says. “Our model of internet organising allows thousands of individual efforts, however small, to be rapidly combined into a powerful collective force.”

I’m not sure what a bunch of cardboard cutouts will solve (and what about all the trees that had to die!) but they are drawing attention to a serious problem related to bad actors using Facebook for nefarious purposes.