Instead of appearing before top European policymakers to answer questions about Facebook’s possible role in the spread of disinformation, CEO Mark Zuckerberg will send a representative.
Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice president for policy solutions, will testify Tuesday before a committee of lawmakers from Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Ireland, Latvia and Singapore, the Washington Post reported.
But Zuckerberg’s decision to send a stand-in apparently hasn’t gone over well in Europe.
“The Committee still believes that Mark Zuckerberg is the appropriate person to answer important questions about data privacy, safety, security and sharing,” committee members said jointly in a statement Friday.
European lawmakers have raised concerns over the way social media companies handle hate speech and terrorism on their platforms. In May, Zuckerberg was questioned about Facebook’s mishaps by leaders in Brussels.
In other parts of the world, the company has big business deals in the works. Facebook is preparing to host its first-ever data center in Asia in Singapore, which will cost the social media giant $1 billion.
Zuckerberg’s decision to not testify in front of the British-led committee comes as Facebook faces intense scrutiny over the way he and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg have guided the company in recent years. Critics have called for him to step aside as chairman amid a series of scandals that have put the social media giant’s credibility into question.
But the CEO recently indicated he has no intentions of leaving — and said he hopes to continue working with Sandberg.
The firm, known as Definers, was asked to investigate George Soros, the Democratic billionaire philanthropist who is a frequent target of conservatives. Soros has called for greater oversight of the tech company.
In response to Schrage’s statement, Sandberg wrote that some Definers work “had crossed my desk,” after previously saying she was unfamiliar with the company.
Facebook also been taken to task over how it handles users personal data and how it was allegedly used to incite violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and Russian efforts to use the platform to sow discord ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
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