NEW YORK — Mark Zuckerberg faced two days of grilling before House and Senate committees Tuesday and Wednesday to address Facebook’s privacy issues and the need for more regulation for the social media site.

Yet the hearings in Washington managed to showcase the normally press-shy Zuckerberg’s ability to perform as an able and well-rehearsed, if a bit stiff, CEO of one of the world’s biggest companies – and the degree to which much of Congress appears befuddled about technology and the relevant issues.

“For the most part, so far, this has been a victory for Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg and enormous validation that D.C. is ineffectual,” said Scott Galloway, who teaches marketing at New York University.

Some members of Congress hold computer science degrees or other technical knowledge and were well-versed.

But many appeared out of touch on the fundamentals of how Facebook works and lobbed mainly softball questions.

On Wednesday Gus Bilirakis, a Florida Republican, asked about the removal of inappropriate opioid advertisements from the site. But he also waxed on about how many people his age and older use Facebook.

“My friends, my constituents – we all use Facebook,” Bilirakis said. “It’s wonderful for us seniors to connect with our relatives.”

Part of the problem was the structure of the hearings. Dozens of lawmakers had just four or five minutes to ask questions. Tough follow-up queries were few. Another was age: The average age of senators who questioned Zuckerberg is 62, with several in their 80s.

Many of Zuckerberg’s answers served as a crash course in Facebook 101, or basic information about Facebook’s business model. On Tuesday, 84-year old Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who had been a senator for nearly eight years when Zuckerberg was born, asked how Facebook’s business model works given that it is free.

“Senator, we run ads,” Zuckerberg explained, a smile breaking through his solemn demeanor.

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