An open letter signed by representatives from the UK, Canada, Australia, Argentina and Ireland has urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg to rethink his decision not to appear before an ‘international grand committee’ on fake news.
The invitation to appear at the committee on November 23 was first issued jointly by UK and Canadian parliaments but was initially declined by Facebook, which said that it “fully recognise the seriousness of these issues” and would provide “any additional relevant information”.
Facebook say that they remain committed” to working with our committees “to provide any additional relevant information” that we require. Yet they offer no means of doing this. The call for accountability is growing, with representatives from 5 parliaments now meeting on the 27th pic.twitter.com/VJFtpqUi0r
— Damian Collins (@DamianCollins) November 7, 2018
Today’s open letter, which is again signed by Canadian and UK authorities, has also gained the signatures of the Australian, Argentinian & Irish parliaments, urging the entrepreneur to rethink his decision.
“Five parliaments are now calling on you to do the right thing” states the letter, which was shared on Twitter by the UK’s Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee Damian Collins.
“We say again: the hearing of your evidence is now overdue, and urgent,” the letter stated.
The international committee said they were “very disappointed with the dismissive response”, reminding Zuckerburg that he has previously accepted invitations to appear in front of the US Congress and European Parliament to discuss similar issues of fake news and data privacy.
“Five parliaments are now calling on you to do the right thing by the 170 million users in the countries they represent,” it stated.
The grand committee, the first joint hearing of its kind, will continue to explore how the personal data of the country’s citizens is collected and shared by websites, social networks and political campaigns.