COMMONS

Parliamentarians worldwide call upon Mark Zuckerberg to attend unprecedented international joint hearing in London

07 November 2018

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is at the centre of a growing demand to appear before the relevant committees of five parliaments for an international joint hearing on disinformation and ‘fake news’.

Committee Chairs from Australia, Argentina, and Ireland have now added their voices to those of the UK and Canada in calling for Mark Zuckerberg to give evidence to the ‘international grand committee’ as part of its ongoing inquiry into Disinformation and 'fake news'.

Last week Damian Collins MP, Chair of the DCMS Committee and Bob Zimmer MP, Chair of the Canadian Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, called upon Mark Zuckerberg to attend the hearing in London on November 27. Facebook declined that invitation, saying he was unable to accept.

Chair's comment

DCMS Chair Damian Collins MP said:

“I’m very disappointed that Mark Zuckerberg has rejected this opportunity to address parliamentarians who are prepared to travel to London from four continents to put their questions to him on behalf of users around the world.

“By dismissing our request, Facebook is failing to acknowledge its line of accountability not only to legislators, but to its users worldwide. There remain serious questions to be answered about what measures Facebook is taking now to halt the spread of disinformation on its platform and protection for user data.

“His response is not good enough for my committee nor for the parliamentarians from around the world who also consider that Mark Zuckerberg has questions to answer in person. That’s why we’re inviting him once more. This time other countries are adding their voices to our call: Australia, Argentina, Ireland as well as Canada and the UK.  It’s a call that’s growing, not diminishing.

“Yesterday the Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham told my committee that dealing directly with senior Facebook staff had been critical to the ICO’s investigations. In her view, it would be ‘very useful’ for Mark Zuckerberg to appear before the committee.

“Mark Zuckerberg has set himself the personal challenge of ‘fixing’ Facebook this year to prevent its misuse in our democratic process. By being unwilling to face questions about his progress, doubts about his ability to do so remain.”

Further information

About Parliament: Select committees 
Visiting Parliament: Watch committees

Image: iStockphoto

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