Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg under pressure to attend international hearing

He's already declined to appear in London, but that's "not good enough."

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
Expertise Culture, Video Games, Breaking News
Sean Keane
2 min read
Salon Viva Technology 2018, Startup connect : Day One

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has twice turned down invitations to testify in London, but more politicians are joining the effort to get him there.

Christophe Morin/IP3 / Getty Images

Politicians from five countries are demanding that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appear at a Nov. 27 joint hearing in London after he turned down last week's invitation.

The growing call -- which now includes politicians from Australia, Argentina, Ireland, Canada and the UK -- is led by Damian Collins, chair of the UK's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Collins tweeted the latest letter in response to the social network's rejection early Wednesday.

"We were very disappointed with this dismissive response. As you will see from the list of signatories to this letter, the 'grand committee' on disinformation and fake news is growing," it read.

"Five parliaments are now calling on you to do the right thing by the 170 million users in the countries they represent."

Watch this: Apple, Facebook support more privacy laws

Leopoldo Moreau of Argentina, James McGrath of Australia and Hildegarde Naughton of Ireland joined Collins and Canada's Bob Zimmer in signing the letter.

"Mark Zuckerberg has set himself the personal challenge of 'fixing' Facebook this year to prevent its misuse in our democratic process," Collins said in an emailed statement. "By being unwilling to face questions about his progress, doubts about his ability to do so remain."

In its letter declining the invitation, Facebook asserted that its senior staff had already appeared before UK and Canadian committees.

"We continue to fully recognize the seriousness of these issues and remain committed to working with you to provide any additional relevant information you require for your respective inquiries," it wrote.

Zuckerberg previously turned down a spring invitation to give evidence to the UK Parliament about Facebook's role in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, having answered questions before the European Union's Parliament and the US Congress.

On Tuesday, UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham called for Facebook to be subject to stricter regulation and supported Collins' call for Zuckerberg to testify in Britain.

Meet the women fighting fake news on Facebook

See all photos

It referred Facebook to Ireland's Data Protection Commission -- the lead authority for Facebook under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation -- over the way it targets users, in the wake of hitting the social media giant with a £500,000 ($645,000) fine.

The Honeymoon Is Over: Everything you need to know about why tech is under Washington's microscope.

Infowars and Silicon Valley: Everything you need to know about the tech industry's free speech debate.