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'Saturday Night Live' targets Facebook whistleblower hearing

The Hill logo The Hill 10/10/2021 Natalie Prieb
'Saturday Night Live' targets Facebook whistleblower hearing © YouTube 'Saturday Night Live' targets Facebook whistleblower hearing

"Saturday Night Live" highlighted a hearing featuring the Facebook whistleblower in its cold open, with multiple interruptions by senators asking for social media pointers.

The sketch opened with a parody of C-Span coverage and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, played by Heidi Gartner, saying that "it's nice to be in an office with no skateboards."

Once the questions started rolling in for Gartner's Haugen, cast members playing senators wasted no time in getting her take on social media.

"My question is, I have 2,000 friends on Facebook. Is that good?" Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), played by Cecily Strong, asked.

"Like, is that a lot?" Strong's Feinstein continued. "Two-thousand sounds like a lot. How many does Drake have, 4,000?"

"I think he has, like, 50 million," Gartner's Haugen responded.

"Oh my God. Well no wonder he never answered my poke," Strong's Feinstein responded.

The questioning then shifted to Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), played by Kyle Mooney, who had some basic questions about Facebook's algorithm.

"Ms. Haugen, you've told us a lot of disturbing information about this so-called algorithm," Mooney's Kennedy said. "I just want to clear up a few points. Where is it?" The Louisiana senator then asks if the former Facebook employee physically brought the algorithm with her, to which Haugen tells him there are algorithms in every phone and computer.

"Not mine, I've got a Jitterbug flip phone," he added, pulling out a basic red flip phone. "Only lets me call my son or the hospital."

The senators later bring up the Netflix show "Squid Game," which features people competing in children's games for millions of dollars. The show recently had to remove a woman's phone number after she started receiving hundreds of prank phone calls and texts.

"America's in a lot of debt right now. Should we do a 'Squid Game?' " Feinstein asked.

"You know, I was put in a 'Squid Game' recently, and they made me the guy from 'SpongeBob,' " Aidy Bryant as Ted Cruz (R-Texas) added.

The sketch then cuts to a meme featuring Bryant's Cruz alongside fictional characters from "SpongeBob SquarePants" with the caption, "When Texas is freezing and you in Mexico."

The running joke in the sketch about the senators' lack of social media knowledge plays on the fact that the current Senate is the oldest in the country's history.

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