In the 220-minute-long Senate hearing where Facebook’s head of Calibra, David Marcus, was grilled on the company’s “cryptocurrency” plans, the word trust was mentioned every two minutes on average, working out to 69 times in total.
Not all of these instances were focused on how people can’t or shouldn’t trust Facebook, though.
In reality, about half of the times trust was mentioned, it was used in a derogatory manner by a Senator. The other half was Marcus defending the company’s position. On numerous occasions he argued how Libra will earn trust, or is supposedly designed to be trustworthy.
If only there was a digital currency system that was completely trustless in its design…
Either way, trust was clearly a key topic at Tuesday’s Senate hearing.
Here’s some of the hottest out takes.
Facebook… doesn’t deserve our trust.
Now Facebook asks people to trust them with their hard earned paychecks… a breathtaking amount of arrogance.
– Senator Sherrod Brown
I don’t trust Facebook and it’s because of the repeated violations of your users privacy, [and] repeated deceit.
So I don’t trust you guys. So instead of cleaning up your house, now you’re launching into another business model with Calibra.
– Senator Martha McSally
Mr. Marcus… Basically, the theme of your response to many of my colleagues, particularly on data privacy is trust us. Well, trust is something you earn. And Facebook certainly hasn’t earned it.
– Senator Bob Menendez
Mr. Marcus it’s clear from this hearing, distrust of Facebook is pretty universal.
I wish we could trust Facebook. It’s pretty clear there’s almost nobody in this committe that does.
– Senator Sherrod Brown, again
If you’re wondering how I calculated this number, let me take you behind the curtain.
The first step was to get an audio rip of the Senate hearing. There’s various online tools for this, but I used OnlineVideoConverter. I’ve never had any trouble with this one, but there are some shady alternatives out there, so tread carefully.
After downloading an MP3 audio file from the converter, I uploaded this to an online transcription tool. As my good colleague Már tells us, use Otter.ai it’ll transcribe an interview and you “won’t have to do shit” – his words, not mine.
From here on, things got a bit more manual. Otter.ai outputs a timestamped transcript which I used to count the number of times trust was mentioned, read the quote, and then re-watch the specific part of the hearing to confirm how the word was used. Using cmd+f found 70 mentions of the word “trust,” one of which is from Otter’s automatically generated keywords.
Indeed, this isn’t the most scientific analysis, but it’s clear that the Senate, Senator Brown in particular, really don’t trust Facebook.
H/T – 100msatoshi