Sunday, 13 October, 2019


Zuckerberg meets Trump with Facebook on the defensive

Mark Zuckerberg Trump holds 'constructive' White House meeting with Mark Zuckerberg
Bennie Garza | 21 September, 2019, 10:38

"It's no secret that I've been a tough critic of Facebook, so I was glad for the opportunity to discuss my concerns directly with Mr. Zuckerberg", he said.

While lawmakers like Hawley and Blumenthal seemed unsatisfied with Zuckerberg's responses, Senator Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, took a milder tack.

Rather than moving users' personal data from properties such as WhatsApp and Instagram to the core Facebook platform, the company should put a wall around the services or, better yet, sell them off, Hawley said he told Zuckerberg.

The White House pointed to Trump's tweet about the meeting.

Zuckerberg's discussion with Hawley touched on industry competition, data privacy legislation, election security and accusations by conservatives that Facebook and other social media giants are biased against right-leaning content.

"I encouraged him to come to the table, help us out and this is not an adversarial role from my perspective", Collins said, noting they did not discuss whether Facebook will comply with the document requests.

Schiff said he also discussed with Zuckerberg co-operation between the tech industry and USA intelligence agencies to combat foreign interference in the 2020 elections. Josh Hawley and allegedly admitted that there was some kind of bias in a recent controversy surrounding an anti-abortion group - the company was dinged by activists for telling the group Live Action that the statement "abortion is never medically necessary" is factually incorrect.

Hawley also challenged Zuckerberg to sell off Instagram and WhatsApp, which the company owns, and submit to an independent, third-party audit on censorship.

Zuckerberg also met with Senators Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington state, Utah Republican Mike Lee and Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton.

Zuckerberg isn't meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to a person familiar with the matter.

No details were given on the meeting, first reported by the Axios website.

Zuckerberg doesn't appear to be meeting with government officials conducting inquiries.

The company, which is an advertising powerhouse, faces antitrust investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and a number of state attorneys general, as well as numerous legislative proposals that seek to restrict how it operates. In July, Facebook agreed to pay $5 billion to settle FTC allegations it violated users' privacy.

As the chorus grows to break up Facebook, the social networking platform's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg recently said that it won't serve any goal.

Rep. David Cicilline, chair of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel, said Friday that Zuckerberg pledged cooperation with the panel's probe into online markets.

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