In April 2018 Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the US Senate to answer questions on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, and whether Facebook now represented a threat to the free world. Traditionally, for any business to be described by its parliament as “a weapon against democracy” would be a bad thing.
But for Facebook the opposite was true. As the world watched a pale and contrite Zuckerberg explain whether he had subverted democracy itself, Facebook’s stock rose by 4.5 per cent, its best day’s trading for more than two years. In a single day Zuckerberg’s personal wealth rose by $2.3bn, equivalent to 70,000 years of work on the median American salary.