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More nations join 'grand committee' seeking Zuckerberg's participation in meeting

They want the Facebook CEO to participate via video link if he can't be in London on Nov. 27.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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Three more countries joined a call for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to attend an "international grand committee," the latest fallout from a New York Times investigation into how top executives reacted to a series of crises at the social network.

Brazil, Singapore and Latvia joined five other countries requesting the CEO's participation in a London meeting scheduled for Nov. 27. Last week, Facebook said Zuckerberg was "not able" to attend the meeting, which had been arranged by Ireland, Australia, Canada, Argentina and the UK.

In a letter Friday, representatives of the eight countries asked if Zuckerberg would participate through a video link (PDF) if he couldn't make the journey to London. The grand committee is investigating disinformation and election interference.

"We note that while your letter states that you're 'not able to be in London' on 27th, it does not rule out giving evidence per se," foreign government officials said in the letter. "Would you be amenable to giving evidence via video link instead?" They asked for a response by Monday.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The renewed request comes after The New York Times reported last week that Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg "ignored warning signs" of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that saw a political consultancy use data from millions of Facebook users. The company also knew about Russian influence activities on its platform as early as spring 2016, according to the report.

The Times reported that Facebook hired a firm called Definers Public Affairs to retaliate against or spread inflammatory information about its critics. On Friday, a group of Democratic senators sent a letter pressing the social network for more details about its relationship with Definers.

On the same day, Zuckerberg also denounced the critical news coverage of Facebook as "bullshit" during a question-and-answer session with his employees, according to The Wall Street Journal. The social network co-founder also reportedly said Facebook fires leakers.

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