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Mark Zuckerberg ‘not able' to attend unprecedented international joint hearing in London

14 November 2018

Facebook has declined an invitation to CEO Mark Zuckerberg from the relevant committees of five parliaments for an international joint hearing on disinformation and ‘fake news', saying he is not able to be in London. 

Committee Chairs from Australia, Argentina, and Ireland last week added their voices to those of the UK and Canada, calling on Mark Zuckerberg to give evidence to the ‘international grand committee' on November 27. It's part of the ongoing inquiry by the DCMS Committee into Disinformation and 'fake news'.

Chair's comment

DCMS Chair Damian Collins MP said:

“Facebook's letter is, once again, hugely disappointing. We believe Mark Zuckerberg has important questions to answer about what he knew about breaches of data protection law involving their customers' personal data, and why the company didn't do more to identify and act against known sources of disinformation; and in particular those coming from agencies in Russia. The fact that he has continually declined to give evidence, not just to my committee, but now to an unprecedented international grand committee, makes him look like he's got something to hide.

"We will not let the matter rest there, and are not reassured in anyway by the corporate puff piece that passes off as Facebook's letter back to us. The fact that the University of Michigan believes that Facebook's “Iffy Quotient” scores have recently improved means nothing to the victims of Facebook data breaches.

"We will continue with our planning for the international grand committee on 27th November, and expect to announce shortly the names of additional representatives who will be joining us and our plans for the hearing."

The initial invitation to Mark Zuckerberg was made by 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, on October 31. Facebook declined that invitation, saying Mark Zuckerberg was unable to accept.

It's estimated that there are 170 million Facebook users in the countries represented by the parliamentarians.

Further information

About Parliament: Select committees 
Visiting Parliament: Watch committees

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