U.K., Canadian Politicians Invite Mark Zuckerberg to Address Joint "Fake News" Probe

Mark Zuckerberg prepares to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee 1 -April 11, 2018 -Getty-H 2018
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Parliamentarians from both nations in a letter called on the Facebook CEO to talk about ways to prevent the "platform’s malign use in world affairs and democratic process."

British and Canadian politicians on Wednesday invited Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to address a parliamentary "international grand committee" on disinformation and "fake news" on Nov. 27 at the House of Commons in London.

"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," Damian Collins, the chairman of the U.K. Parliament's media committee, and his Canadian counterpart, Bob Zimmer, wrote in an Oct. 31 letter sent to Zuckerberg.

There's no word on whether Zuckerberg will accept the invitiation but, if he does, his testimony would be expected to touch on privacy, data protection, fake news and other issues after the social network failed to fully protect its 2.2 billion users in the Cambridge Analytica data breach.

A U.K. regulatory agency that probed the Cambridge Analytica scandal recently decided to fine Facebook $663,000 for not safeguarding that user information. The parliamentary request to Zuckerberg reveals Canadian and U.K. politicians in the last year requested his participation in respective investigations into the Cambridge Analytica scandal and subsequent data breaches, but were unsuccessful.

"You have chosen instead to send less senior representatives, and have not yourself appeared, despite having taken up invitations from the U.S. Congress and Senate, and the European Parliament," the Oct. 31 letter states.

The U.K. and Canadian parliamentarians are investigating current digital policy issues, including disinformation and regulation of the internet.

Facebook faces several other investigations, including others in Europe, a probe by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and, reportedly, several others at federal agencies such as the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission.