One of the most telling moments in the spectacle of Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony last week was when Representative Billy Long, a Missouri Republican, warned the co-founder of Facebook of what Congress was likely to do about its multiple concerns surrounding the social network. “Congress is good at two things: doing nothing, and overreacting,” he said. After years of the former, he said, “we’re getting ready to overreact.”
That sounds worrisome. But I sympathize. Doing nothing and overreacting make sense when you have no clue of what is going on. And we don’t. The cloud of questions aimed at Mr. Zuckerberg — Is Facebook too dominant? Does it censor information? Whom does it share our data with? Does it help sell OxyContin? — suggests that we don’t really know what the problem with Facebook is. It also suggests we don’t understand what Facebook does.