Zuckerberg strangely insists that his email about buying Google ‘sounds like a joke’

Mark Zuckerberg wants Congress to know he didn’t really mean it.

Facebook’s CEO was forced to face his past self at Wednesday’s House antitrust hearing. when presented with the host of the previous email(opens in a new tab) Demonstrating his strategy of buying competitors — and, in particular, possibly one day buying Google — the best he could say was that it was all in good fun.

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Haha Yes.
Credit: Screenshot / House Hearing

The awkward moment was brought to us by Colorado Democrat Joe Neguse, who pressured the CEO over a string of Facebook acquisitions that included Instagram and WhatsApp.

“Facebook also tried to buy other competing startups,” Negus told Zuckerberg via video chat. “Actually as [subcommittee chairmen Rep. Jerrold Nadler] Noticed, you quoted one of Facebook’s senior engineers in 2012 that you could quote, ‘Potentially buy, just buy any competing startup, but it’s going to be a while before we can buy Google. ‘ Do you remember writing that email?”

Zuckerberg’s only response was an attempt to downplay the whole thing.

“Congressman, I don’t particularly,” he replied. “But it sounds like a joke.”

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An email written by Mark Zuckerberg in 2012 was offered as evidence.
Credit: House Hearing

And indeed, to almost anyone else, in almost any other context, it would clearly be a joke. But not Mark Zuckerberg — especially not right when he announced his decision to buy Instagram to Facebook employees internally.

Neguse made as much clear.

See also: Zuckerberg explains to confused congressman why Donald Trump Jr. was banned from Twitter

“I don’t take it as a joke,” he replied. “You know when I was reviewing the email that was in regards to shutting down the Instagram sale, and the response to this person, this engineer, was, quote to you, ‘well played.'”

Maybe Zuckerberg’s definition of fun is different than everyone else’s? It will explain their stance on user privacy.

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