Zuckerberg mocked over 'booster seat' at hearing

A Facebook spokesman said the thick cushion was "the committee's standard practice" for comfort, and that Mr Mark Zuckerberg did not bring it along himself to enhance his height.
A Facebook spokesman said the thick cushion was "the committee's standard practice" for comfort, and that Mr Mark Zuckerberg did not bring it along himself to enhance his height.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

WASHINGTON • One of the most talked about things after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's grilling by nearly 100 US lawmakers over two days had little to do with the congressional hearing and everything to do with how he was sitting.

During the first day of the hearing on Tuesday, which lasted five hours, Mr Zuckerberg comfortably added 10cm to 1.7m frame by sitting on a thick, black cushion.

Photos of the camera-shy billionaire perched atop the cushion quickly went viral online.

A spokesman for Facebook told the New York Post that it was "the committee's standard practice" for comfort, and had not been brought along by either Facebook staff or Mr Zuckerberg himself to enhance his height.

But it was too late to stop the mocking on social media. Commentators dubbed the cushion a "booster seat".

Mr Zuckerberg was ridiculed, with some labelling it "ridiculous", and describing the tech billion-aire as a "man-child".

Some speculated that the 33-year-old social media chief may have requested the seat to appear taller, more authoritative and imposing during the grilling.

Doctors, however, point out that there is a valid health reason why Mr Zuckerberg sat on a cushion.

Dr Joel Press, psychiatrist-in-chief at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, told Fortune: "It is not crazy. As a matter of fact, a lot of people in this country use a little back support.

"There is probably some reason for it, whether it is related to back-or hip-related things."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2018, with the headline 'Zuckerberg mocked over 'booster seat' at hearing'. Print Edition | Subscribe