Political pressure is growing on Mark Zuckerberg. On Friday, November 16, the Brazilian, Singaporean and Latvian Parliaments joined those of Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and Argentina to ask Facebook’s boss to appear before them. November 27 in London. In a letter published Monday, they ask him to be heard by “this major international commission”, which is interested in the issue of misinformation and false information circulating on Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg has already declined the invitation twice. The first was launched on October 31 by the British and Canadian Parliaments. For the second, sent on November 7, they had been joined by Ireland, Australia and Argentina. In both cases, the Facebook boss’ teams had explained that he could not be in London on November 27th. Refuses that have not accepted the deputies of these five countries, now joined by three other parliaments.
A video hearing?
The new invitation offers a solution to Mark Zuckerberg: “You say in your letter that you will not be able to be in London on the 27th, but that does not mean that you can be heard. Would you be willing to testify by video instead? ”
In recent days, however, Mark Zuckerberg was more busy, according to the Wall Street Journal, managing a new crisis, in a year that has seen multiple business affect the reputation of Facebook. On November 14, the New York Times released an investigation examining how Facebook’s management responded to the various crises affecting the company. The scandal came from the practices of a public relations firm hired for Facebook, called Definers, which suggested to US journalists to investigate links between George Soros and anti-Facebook groups.
Already heard in April and May
With over 2 billion active users, Facebook is the most popular social network in the world. It has also become an important channel for disseminating false information. Since the US presidential campaign of 2016, during which Facebook has been exploited as a channel of misinformation and an attempt to interfere in the electoral process, authorities in different countries are closely watching Mark Zuckerberg.
The pressure intensified in the spring, with the Cambridge Analytica scandal: tens of millions of Facebook users then discovered that their data had been indirectly attracted by a company specializing in political influence and close to Donald Trump. Mark Zuckerberg had finally explained himself to the United States Congress in April, during two grueling hearings lasting several hours. He had also been heard in May by MEPs in a one-and-a-half-hour hearing, mostly occupied by MEPs’ questions – a format contested by many of them.