Joe Rogan teased Mark Zuckerberg about the memes targeting his “robot”-like mannerisms during his testimony before Congress last year.
“I don’t like the way you sip water, though, you sipping water at the Senate, you were sipping water like a robot,” Rogan joked during an interview with the Facebook founder on his Spotify podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” on Thursday.
Zuckerberg, who has been ridiculed online for surfing while wearing too much sunscreen, laughed before taking a sip of water.
“The Senate testimony is not exactly an environment that is set up to accentuate the humanity of the subject,” the Meta CEO said.
“If you’re up there for six or seven hours, you’re going to make some face that is worth making a meme out of.”
Zuckerberg was called to appear before Congress last year to answer lawmakers’ questions about privacy concerns swirling around Facebook.
During Thursday’s podcast, Zuckerberg admitted to Rogan that his social network suppressed The Post’s reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop in the weeks before the 2020 presidential election.
The laptop contained information about the business dealings of the president’s son, including projects in China and Ukraine.
Zuckerberg told Rogan that he regretted how Facebook handled the matter, though he defended the social media company’s approach to content moderation as “reasonable.”
“When something like that turns out to be real, is there regret for not having it evenly distributed and for throttling the distribution of that story?” Rogan asked Zuckerberg.
“Yeah, it sucks,” Zuckerberg said. “It turned out after the fact, the fact-checkers looked into it, no one was able to say it was false … I think it sucks, though, in the same way that probably having to go through a criminal trial but being proven innocent in the end sucks.”
Zuckerberg said Facebook limited the ability of users to share the story after it acted on information from the FBI indicating that Russia would seek to use the platform to spread propaganda.
“Did [the FBI] specifically say you need to be on guard about that story?” Rogan asked, referring to The Post’s article.
“No, I don’t remember if it was that specifically, but it basically fit the pattern,” Zuckerberg said.
More than 50 former senior intelligence officials signed on to a letter that claimed the laptop story “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
“Our protocol is different than Twitter’s. What Twitter did is they said you can’t share this at all. We didn’t do that,” Zuckerberg said.
Rogan agreed that Facebook’s approach was “certainly much more reasonable than Twitter’s stance.”
“I just don’t think they looked at it hard enough. When the New York Post is talking about it, they’re pretty smart about what they release and what they don’t release,” Rogan said.
“For the five or seven days when it was basically being determined whether it was false, the distribution on Facebook was decreased, but people were still allowed to share it,” Zuckerberg added. “You could still share it, you could still consume it.”
While Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook had also reduced distribution of the report on its own platform, he tried to defend the process as “reasonable.”
“I think the process was pretty reasonable,” he added. “A lot of people were still able to share it. We got a lot of complaints that that was the case.
“This is a hyper-political issue, so depending on what side of the political spectrum, you either think we didn’t censor enough or censored it way too much, but we weren’t as black and white about it as Twitter,” he added.
Additional reporting by Thomas Barrabi