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UK, Canadian Parliaments Call for ‘Urgent’ Mark Zuckerberg Testimony on Fake News

Facebook chief has previously declined to speak U.K. Parliament in favor of testifying to U.S. Congress

The U.K. and Canada are calling on Mark Zuckerberg to testify before a first-ever “international grand committee” on Facebook’s efforts to thwart misinformation.

The committee, set to meet in London on Nov. 27, also wants 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.

British Member of Parliament Damian Collins and Canadian MP Bob Zimmer — both head of their country’s committees on digital policy and policing the internet — sent a joint letter to Zuckerberg on Wednesday urging him to appear next month.

“This hearing of your evidence is now overdue, and urgent,” Zimmer and Collins said to Zuckerberg. “Given your self-declared objective to ‘fix’ Facebook, and to prevent the platform’s malign use in world affairs and democratic process, we would like to give you the chance to appear at this hearing.”

The joint committee will issue “final reports” by the end of the year on Facebook’s battle against fake news, the letter added.

Facebook did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on if Zuckerberg will address the committee.

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 has added to its moderation team ahead of the 2018 U.S. midterms and tightened its data privacy rules in recent months. The company deleted hundreds of Iranian and Russian accounts in August for spreading fake news. 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 on Wednesday, said Facebook is doing a much better job fighting the spread of misinformation, but that there is no “silver bullet” for the problem.