The giant company owner of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg did not attend a hearing in Ottawa on Tuesday, even being summon from the Canadian parliament.
The senior Canadian politician who sent the summons told CNN that the decision might result in the executives being held in contempt of parliament. On the day of hearing Facebook have sent two of their representatives from its public policy team instead of their appearance, which was tied to a gathering of an international committee examining Silicon Valley’s impact on privacy and democracy. There was opposed against Zuckerberg’s failure to show up among the multiple lawmakers what he wrote in an op-ed in March when he wrote he was “looking forward to discussing those with lawmakers around the world.”
As argument exchange within, British MP Damian Collins has questioned why Facebook had not removed a manipulated video of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that went viral last week. Since Facebook has not removed the video which shows “irresponsible” and gave a “green light” to anyone to make false videos about politicians. YouTube removed the video said Collins.
On the other hand Neil Potts, Facebook’s director of public policy, said the company had down ranked the video, meaning it will show up in fewer people’s News Feeds.
Earlier in this month, Zuckerberg and Sandberg received formal requests from the Canadian Parliament. Both have testified before the United States Congress on the subject.
Bob Zimmer MP, the chair of the committee said on Monday night that Facebook had not told the committee whether its two most senior executives would be attending. He said committee members learned on CNN that Zuckerberg and Sandberg would not testify.
A Facebook spokesperson claiming its right that on Tuesday morning, the company had told the committee it would be sending Kevin Chan, its head of public policy for Facebook Canada, and director of public policy Neil Potts, to the meeting. The spokesperson added the company had been in ongoing communication with the committee.
Both Google and Twitter also sent representatives to address the committee, but it seems the committee didn’t sent summons to top executives of the companies.
Seemingly at least Lawmakers from at least ten countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, were expected to attend the meeting, which will be the second of its kind. The first meeting of the committee last year in London resulted in the release of secret internal Facebook documents.
Zimmer, whose committee is hosting the international meeting said “Collectively we represent about 450 million people, it’s a bigger population group than the US,” Zimmer had submitted alternate names of people to attend their place and sent back both Facebook executives summonses earlier this month. He wanted to hear directly from the social network’s top two executives. Their presence is important, he said, because, “Knowing the structure of Facebook and how it is micro-managed right from the top, any change on the platform is done through Mr. Zuckerberg or through Ms. Sandberg. It’s not that hard to jump on a plane and make some time to hear from legislators and answer their questions,” he told CNN. The decision to hold them contempt would be voted by the whole of Parliament, Zimmer said.
Zimmer added that “Nobody is going to come with some handcuffs and arrest them, but to be held in contempt by an entire country would not serve any platform well, “A spoke man of Facebook earlier said on a statement on Monday that : “Ultimately this is a decision for Parliament — we’re not in a position to speculate. We share the Committee’s desire to keep people safe and to hold companies like ours accountable. Right now we’re focused on engaging in meaningful dialogue with the committee and look forward to answering their questions.” the spokesperson said “We look forward to answering their questions and remain committed to working with world leaders, governments, and industry experts to address these complex issues”.