Backstory: Putting a spotlight on Facebook

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(Reuters) - Reuters covers dozens of high-profile Congressional hearings each year, but few draw the intensity and urgency of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to Capitol Hill this week.

Zuckerberg was in Washington, D.C., to answer lawmakers’ questions about data privacy in the wake of revelations that millions of users’ personal information was harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that has counted U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign among its clients.

At least 70 Reuters journalists covered the hearings from every angle and across all platforms. Mobile readers, for example, received push alerts as soon as the hearings began, and the Reuters live blog monitored Zuckerberg’s comments in real-time, curated by social media editor Jamillah Knowles.

The markets team in the United States and Bangalore monitored Facebook’s stock performance.

Less than 20 minutes after Zuckerberg started his Senate testimony on Tuesday, Reuters TV published a video about the hearings and subsequently produced seven other segments relating to Zuckerberg’s comments. Overall, some 10,000 people viewed Reuters’ live stream of the hearing on Tuesday.

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We used Twitter to share some 150 tweets about the two days of testimony to various Reuters social media accounts.

And, we also covered Facebook on Facebook. As Zuckerberg spoke to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, our Facebook audience griped about the legislative process.

A commentary piece by Jess Kimball Leslie about Facebook haters drew this comment from a follower, “If they keep up the censorship, I guarantee I will be using an alternative means to connect with people.”

Reporting by Lauren Young; Editing by Toni Reinhold