Africa: We Want English, Not Swahili, U.S. Senator Tells Facebook Chief

12 April 2018

Cape Town — "I am going to suggest to you that you go back home and you rewrite it and tell your U.S.$1,200-an hour lawyers, no disrespect, they're good, but tell them that you want it written in English and not Swahili, so the average American can understand it. That would be a start."

U.S. Republican Senator John Kennedy said this to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a Senate Judiciary Committee and Commerce Committee joint hearing where the social media leader had to account for criticism over his site's privacy and censorship policies.

Kennedy charged that Facebook's user agreement is too complicated and was created to protect the social network from litigation rather than a means to make users aware of their rights.

Kennedy was blasted for his use of the phrase 'not-Swahili', with many alleging it to be racist. Despite the outrage, Senator Kennedy refused to apologise for the remark. During an interview with CNN anchor Erin Burnett, he said: "There is nothing to apologise for. I think everyone understood the point I'm trying to make."

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