MPs repeat call for Zuckerberg to give evidence in fake news inquiry
In a letter to Facebook, the House of Commons Culture Committee gave the social media tycoon 12 days to rethink his refusal to appear before them.
MPs have given Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg a 12-day deadline to rethink his refusal to answer their questions on fake news.
Mr Zuckerberg’s rejection of an invitation to appear before the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee was branded “absolutely astonishing” by chairman Damian Collins.
And Mr Collins has now written to Facebook insisting that Mr Zuckerberg is “the right person” to give evidence to the inquiry and demanding an answer by April 9.
The billionaire social media tycoon said on Tuesday that he is ready to appear before the US Congress amid growing furore over the alleged misuse of Facebook users’ personal information by UK-based Cambridge Analytica (CA) to target campaign ads during Donald Trump’s successful bid for the presidency.
Meanwhile, the Culture Committee announced that the suspended CA chief executive, Christopher Nix, will return to give evidence for a second time on April 17.
On his first appearance in February, Mr Nix denied that CA had been involved in the 2016 EU referendum and insisted the company did not use Facebook data.
But his evidence was branded “exceptionally misleading” in explosive testimony to the committee on Tuesday by former CA employee turned whistle-blower Christopher Wylie.
In his letter to Facebook, Mr Collins accepted the offer of evidence from chief product officer Chris Cox, and proposed an appearance before the committee on April 24.
But he added: “Given the seriousness of these issues, we still believe that Mark Zuckerberg himself is the right person to give evidence.
“Mr Zuckerberg has stated in interviews that if he is the right person to appear, he will appear. He appears to have acted on this belief with respect to appearing before Congress.
“We now request confirmation as to whether he will make the same decision for us.”