Ted Cruz has some questions for Facebook: 209 of them to be precise.
That’s how many written questions the Texas senator submitted to the company following CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s hours of Congressional testimony, and good lord were some of them were mind-numbingly stupid — including one abut a Taylor Swift song.
Some quick background: Following Zuckerberg’s marathon Congressional hearings in April, senators also submitted thousands of followup questions to the company. Facebook finally got around to submitting all those answers last week, and the Senate published the questions and answers in full Monday.
And while Facebook’s carefully worded answers provide some interesting insight into how the company thinks about privacy, data collection, and whether or not it’s a monopoly (spoiler: it disagrees with the sentiment), the most amazing thing about the documents might be the hundreds of pages of questions submitted by Cruz.
But none were more WTF than Cruz’s question on Facebook’s opinion of a Taylor Swift song. Specifically, Cruz was apparently interested in whether or not Facebook agreed with a GQ writer’s assessment that an Swift’s cover of an Earth, Wind, and Fire song qualified as hate speech.
Facebook didn’t answer the question directly and instead offered a brief overview of its hate speech policy. “We define hate speech as a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics—race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disability or disease,” the company wrote.
Cruz’s bizarre line of questioning didn’t stop there, though. He also asked a truly asinine question for Facebook’s opinion on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s political opinions (seriously, you can’t make this shit up).
While we already knew Cruz was particularly preoccupied with Facebook’s alleged bias against conservatives, the senator used his written questions to ramble on about a number of other topics too.
To be clear, Cruz was far from the only senator to submit lengthy questions to Facebook, but his appeared to be less informed by Zuckerberg’s testimony as his desire to bait the company into providing answers that could fire up his conservative base.
He asked multiple question about Chick-fil-A and why specific conservative figures had posts referencing the fast food chain removed, as well as many questions about the political leanings of Facebook’s employees and whether or not said Facebook employees had accessed data on senators ahead of Zuckerberg’s testimony.
At one point, the senator asked the company to asses 28 different statements, such as “black lives matter,” “the abortion of an unborn child is murder,” and “gender is a social construct,” and whether or not they’d be considered hate speech under company policies. (Facebook declined and instead again referred back to its earlier statement defining its hate speech policy.)
Did we mention both sets of questions — he submitted two sets as he serves on both the Judiciary and Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committees — were each preceded by a full page of instructions on how to answer? Yeah.
Naturally, Facebook ignored many of his instructions.
You can read the full 459 pages of Q&A — including all 209 of Senator Cruz’s questions in their glorious detail — over on the Senate Committee for Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s website.