Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress Tuesday and answered questions ranging from privacy concerns to political bias to sexist advertising, and he also got an earful from plenty of senators who sounded like they didn’t quite understand the questions their staffers had written for them.

It’s almost universally true that no one actually reads user agreements or terms or service, so we’ll have to take Sen. John Kennedy’s word that he has read Facebook’s user agreement and concluded that it “sucks.”

Said Kennedy, “The purpose of that user agreement is to cover Facebook’s rear-end. It’s not to inform your users about their rights. Now, you know that and I know that. 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 non-Swahili, so the average American can understand it. That would be a start.”

The purpose of Facebook’s user agreement is to protect Facebook’s rear end? Of course it is — that doesn’t make the rest of his statement untrue, though.

Still, will Facebook ever present users with a plain-English explanation of how their personal information can be kept private, or at least paint a clearer picture of how it will be used?


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