Mark Zuckerberg Rejects UK-Canada Testimony on Fake News

Facebook chief won’t be heading to London for “urgent” committee hearing

Mark Zuckerberg
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Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has rejected a request to testify on fake news and data protection in front of an “international grand committee” led by Canadian and British members of parliament.

British Member of Parliament Damian Collins and Canadian MP Bob Zimmer — both head their country’s committees on digital policy and policing the internet — sent a joint letter to Zuckerberg last week requesting his “urgent” testimony. Collins, in a tweet shared on Wednesday, said Zuckerberg had turned them down. He also shared a letter on behalf of the committee saying “we are very disappointed by this dismissive response.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

The committee, set to meet in London on Nov. 27, wanted Zuckerberg to answer questions on the Cambridge Analytica data leak, which left up to 87 million users vulnerable to having their profiles unknowingly accessed. The U.K. had already requested Zuckerberg testify on Cambridge Analytica earlier this year, but he turned them down in favor of speaking to U.S. Congress and the E.U.

In his testimony to Congress in April, Zuckerberg apologized for the company’s slow response to fake news and protecting user data.

“It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy,” Zuckerberg said.

Facebook added thousands of employees its moderation team ahead of the 2018 U.S. midterms and tightened its data privacy rules in recent months. The company deleted thousands of accounts — many from Russia and Iran — for “coordinated inauthentic behavior’ in recent months — including 115 accounts that were spreading misinformation earlier this week. However, Facebook also announced it was hit by a data breach earlier this month, with up to 30 million accounts vulnerable to having their contact info and recent search history accessed. Zuckerberg, on the company’s Q3 earnings call last week, said Facebook is doing a much better job fighting the spread of misinformation, but that there is no “silver bullet” for the problem.