Facebook: Zuckerberg refuses to appear at UK fake news inquiry

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg refuses to appear at Parliamentary inquiry on fake news

One of the social media CEO's deputies is likely to attend instead

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg has refused to attend the Parliamentary inquiry on fake news to give evidence, despite MPs asking him to appear in person, Facebook has said.

The company sent a letter to Damian Collins, who is the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, according to The Guardian.

It said the website founder has “personally asked one of his deputies” to go to the inquiry in place of himself. This could be either chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer, or chief product officer Chris Cox.

The letter said both of the chief executive's deputies directly report to Zuckerberg, "have extensive expertise in these issues" and can answer questions put forward by MPs. It added that they are "among the longest-serving senior representatives in Facebook’s 15-year history."

It was written by Facebook’s head of public policy Rebecca Stimson and suggested one of the deputies could go to the inquiry following the Easter Parliamentary recess.

However, Collins has called again for Zuckerberg to appear in person or by video link at the inquiry to provide evidence.

He said due to the "serious nature of the allegations" about Facebook user data, it's "appropriate that Mark Zuckerberg should give evidence to the committee."

Whilst he added that the committee is "very happy to invite Mr Cox to give evidence" he said "we would still like to hear from Mr Zuckerberg as well.”

Collins also said the committee wants to "clarify from Facebook whether he is available to give evidence or not, because that wasn’t clear from our correspondence."