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This article was published on July 18, 2019

‘Trust’ was mentioned 69 times at Facebook’s Libra Senate hearing – nice

Obviously, quite a few times

‘Trust’ was mentioned 69 times at Facebook’s Libra Senate hearing – nice
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

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

Credit: Fox Business
Senator Brown at the Facebook Libra hearing

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

Credit: Fox Business
Senator McSally at the recent Facebook Libra hearing

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

Credit: Fox Business
Senator Menendez at the recent Facebook Libra hearing

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

Credit: Fox Business
Senator Brown took every opportunity to challenge Facebook

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 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. 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.

70 mentions including one misc addition
The misc addition from Otter

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

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