Mark Zuckerberg planning to testify before U.S. Congress – report
MANILA, Philippines – Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg is planning to testify before the United States Congress within a matter of weeks, Facebook sources told CNNMoney.
The move comes after much pressure from the media, the public, and lawmakers around the world for the CEO himself to testify in light of Facebook's most recent scandal involving data privacy and Cambridge Analytica.
Cambridge Analytica has been found to have ties to US President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign, and allegedly accessed the data of 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge or consent.
Earlier, Zuckerberg rejected a request from British members of parliament to appear before them. He instead offered to send one of his deputies, either chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer or chief product officer Chris Cox, to London.
Facebook sources also told the news outfit that the social media giant is planning its strategy for the US testimony, and believes that the move would put pressure on Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to testify themselves.
Pichai and Dorsey, along with Zuckerberg, have been invited by US Senate judiciary committee chairman Chuck Grassley to a data privacy hearing on April 10, US time.
In October 2017, Facebook, Twitter, and Google testified in a Senate hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, but were represented by deputies and not the actual CEOs themselves.
Now, facing another major scandal less than 6 months since the October Senate hearing and facing a growing #DeleteFacebook movement, Zuckerberg appears to have been left with no choice but to face the music himself. (READ: Rappler Talk: Is it time to #DeleteFacebook?)
Over the past week, high-profile companies such as Elon Musk's Tesla and SpaceX have taken down their Facebook pages. More recently, adult publication Playboy followed suit and took down its page as well.
Public opinion has soured tremendously over Facebook. Zuckerberg's appearance will prove pivotal as to how the social network – and in effect, other tech titans – would be viewed after this. Facebook itself, speaking to CNN, describes the effort needed to restore people's trust in the platform as herculean. – Rappler.com