The intense exchange last week between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Mark Zuckerberg has yielded not only a video of the Facebook CEO struggling to answer questions, but also a series of memes invoking references to traditional Italian foods and "The Godfather."
Zuckerberg appeared in front of Congress last week to answer questions about Facebook's Libra digital currency, which has faced mounting concerns and scrutiny from regulators in recent months. Congressional representatives also grilled Zuckerberg about Facebook's stance on freedom of speech and its policies regarding fact-checking of ads and news stories.
One of the most memorable moments of the testimony came when it was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's turn to question Zuckerberg about the fact-checking of political advertisements. Facebook currently allows politicians to lie in advertisements, a stance that has received a lot of backlash. The Facebook CEO's evident struggle to answer her questions yielded a memorable three-minute viral video of Zuckerberg stumbling over his answers as Ocasio-Cortez drills questions at him.
But a well-timed picture, captured by Getty Images photographer Chip Somodevilla, has also produced a series of memorable memes, as first reported by Mashable. The photo shows Ocasio-Cortez mid-question and, as many of us do, using her hands to gesticulate as she speaks.
However, in the exact moment that the photo is taken, Ocasio-Cortez's hands are both clasped in what I can only refer to as "finger purse" hands. This gesture is something that's often associated with Italians who are speaking adamantly and loudly, such as Don Vito Corleone in "The Godfather" or "The Sopranos" lead character, Tony Soprano.
The photo has spurred social media users to create memes of Ocasio-Cortez alongside the hashtag #ItalianAOC and captions that reference notable lines from Italian mob movies, classic Italian dishes, and memories that those particular gestures invoke from their own childhoods. There was even briefly a Twitter account devoted to the memes, but it's since been shut down.
Here are some of the best memes we found using the photo of Ocasio-Cortez during Zuckerberg's testimony: