Last week Saturday Night Live poked fun at Jeff Bezos and the billionaire space race, and this week it took aim at the senators who conducted this week’s Facebook whistleblower hearing, portraying them as mostly confused by the social media platform, and the memes they found online (or “mem-ays” as Aidy Bryant’s Ted Cruz pronounces it).
Cecily Strong reprises her role as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who asks Heidi Gardner’s Frances Haugen about an Animorphs post, and Kyle Mooney as Sen. John Kennedy asks about Facebook’s algorithm: “do you have it with you now?” while proudly showing off his Jitterbug flip phone (aw).
Bryant as Sen. Cruz asks whether posts that say “Ted Cruz sucks” should be flagged as misinformation, to which “Haugen” answers that it’s not really misinformation, just one person’s opinion. “Wellll, more than one person,” Bryant’s Cruz replies.
The biggest laugh of the sketch came when the “hearing” introduced a video statement from “the OG social media king” — Pete Davidson as Tom Anderson of MySpace. “Remember me? I was harmless! I’m not doing any of that weird algorithm stuff— we barely maintained the website,” he said, inviting people to “come on by and check out your friend’s band from 20 years ago.”
We did not know how good we had it, Tom. (And yes MySpace is still around, no, I could not remember my username).
The real Haugen, a former Facebook product manager at Facebook, testified before Congress on Tuesday about a trove of internal documents she provided to The Wall Street Journal. The hearing was focused on Facebook’s internal research that showed Instagram can have a negative effect on young people. Haugen said during the hearing that Facebook’s need for engagement in order to sell ads meant it kept users on the site even when the company knew the users were engaging with harmful content.
In a post on his own Facebook page. CEO Mark Zuckerberg disputed that characterization, calling it “illogical” that the company would push content that makes people angry just to turn a profit.
You can watch SNL’s version of the “hearing” below: