NYT media columnist Ben Smith calls Facebook's self-proclaimed patriotism 'very implausible'

A day after Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Facebook removes Trump post | TikTok gets competitor | Lawmakers raise grid safety concerns 20 state AGs call on Facebook to take greater steps to combat hate speech, online harassment Instagram launches TikTok clone week after antitrust hearing MORE touted Facebook as a 'proudly American company' during congressional testimony, New York Times media columnist Ben Smith called the move “very implausible” and “very late.”

Zuckerberg testified at a hearing Wednesday with other tech CEOs before the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, telling lawmakers that his company was founded on American values.

“Facebook is, in this very implausible way, wrapping itself in the American flag,” Smith told Hill.TV. “We all know — and in some ways it’s kind of the glory of these tech companies — that they are these transnational companies that don’t recognize national borders, that encourage this global conversation, and have really kind of global ideas about what they are, and always have.”

Smith said that new TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer’s Wednesday response to Zuckerberg’s remarks — in which Mayer said his company welcomes competition and called Zuckerberg’s testimony an attack “disguised as patriotism”  — was an example of TikTok “playing a really bad hand pretty well.”

Mayer, whose company is facing scrutiny for its ties to the Chinese government, pledged to reveal how TikTok’s algorithms work, something Facebook has declined to do.

“TikTok is really trying to give a lot of regulators what they actually want, which is essentially a way to regulate speech on the platform without interfering in speech itself, but by getting some kind of transparency about what's going on,” Smith said.