UK-CANA­DIAN ‘GRAND COM­MIT­TEE’ SEEKS TO QUES­TION ZUCKER­BERG

Apple Magazine - - Summary -

Par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tees in Bri­tain and Canada on Wed­nes­day urged Face­book CEO Mark Zucker­berg to tes­tify be­fore a joint hear­ing of in­ter­na­tional law­mak­ers ex­am­in­ing fake news and the in­ter­net.

Damian Collins, the head of the U.K. par­lia­ment’s me­dia com­mit­tee, is join­ing forces with his Cana­dian counter part, Bob Zim­mer, to pres­sure Zucker­berg to per­son­ally take part in hear­ings, as he did be­fore the U.S Congress and the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment. The so-called “in­ter­na­tional grand com­mit­tee” ses­sion would be held Nov. 27 and could in­clude law­mak­ers from other coun­tries.

“We un­der­stand that it is not pos­si­ble to make your­self avail­able to all par­lia­ments. How­ever, we be­lieve that your users in other coun­tries need a line of ac­count­abil­ity to your or­ga­ni­za­tion_di­rectly, via your­self,” the pair said in a let­ter to Zucker­berg. “We would have thought that this re­spon­si­bil­ity is some­thing that you would want to take up.”

So­cial me­dia com­pa­nies have been un­der scru­tiny in Bri­tain fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions that po­lit­i­cal con­sul­tancy Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica used data from tens of mil­lions of Face­book ac­counts to pro­file vot­ers and help U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s 2016 elec­tion cam­paign. The com­mit­tee is also in­ves­ti­gat­ing the im­pact of fake news distributed via so­cial me­dia sites glob­ally.

Collins has been irate with Face­book for send­ing Zucker­berg’s un­der­lings to his com­mit­tee’s hear­ings while the leader of the Sil­i­con Val­ley com­pany de­clined in­vi­ta­tions to at­tend. Join­ing forces with Canada — and per­haps other coun­tries — seems de­signed to prod Zucker­berg and per­suade him to change his mind.

“No such joint hear­ing has ever been held,” the pair wrote. “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.”

Im­age: Chris McAn­drewIm

Im­age: Saul Loeb

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