The absence of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg from a hearing on fake news organised by the DCMS Parliamentary Select Committee caused anger among attendees.
Lord Richard Allan, Facebook’s VP of Policy Solutions, and a Liberal Democrat peer, appeared in his place. Damian Collins, the head of the committee, has asked Zuckerberg numerous times to attend hearings in Parliament, but he has never done so.
The hearing included representatives from 9 different countries across the world: attendees came from Canada, France, Latvia, Belgium, Singapore, Brazil, Argentina, Ireland, along with UK MPs. Candian lawmaker Charlie Angus said that the committee was “deeply disappointed… about Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to ignore this summons from so many different nations”.
The committee expressed its frustrations in a tweet from its official account:
9 countries.— Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (@CommonsCMS) November 27, 2018
24 official representatives.
447 million people represented.
One question: where is Mark Zuckerberg? pic.twitter.com/BK3KrKvQf3
The lawmakers also signed a declaration on the “Principles of the Law Governing the Law Governing the Internet”, which contains policies relating to the spread and dissemination of so-called “fake news”:
Today members of Parliament from Canada, France, Latvia, Belgium, Singapore, Brazil, Argentina, Ireland and the United Kingdom signed a declaration on the ‘Principles of the Law Governing the Law Governing the Internet’ pic.twitter.com/jQ4q9u9KAV— Damian Collins (@DamianCollins) November 27, 2018
Earlier this month, Facebook investors had called for Zuckerberg to resign, following a damning report that Facebook had hired a PR firm to slander its critics, after facing attacks over the 2016 election and the Cambridge Analytica scandal.