Mark Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers in Washington

Sep 19, 2019 | Social Media Marketing | 0 comments

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Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will meet with policymakers in Washington this week to discuss “future internet regulation,” according to a company spokesperson, amid rising government scrutiny of the company’s business practices.

The trip marks Zuckerberg’s first visit to Capitol Hill since his highly publicized testimony at congressional hearings last year on the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. It arrives as the company faces mounting pressure in various Washington battlefronts, including over its size and power, its handling of users’ personal information and its efforts to police speech on its platforms.

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Zuckerberg is set to huddle Thursday with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who chairs the chamber’s top antitrust panel, according to a Lee spokesperson. Committee members from both sides of the aisle have been highly critical of federal antitrust enforcers for not being more aggressive in investigating Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants for possible anti-competitive conduct.

The Facebook chief is also slated to meet with other lawmakers on the Senate Commerce Committee, according to a source familiar with the plans. Commerce Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) recently said he was “deeply disappointed” that the Facebook CEO declined to take part in a hearing on violent and extremist content online.

Wicker and other Commerce lawmakers for months discussed potential data privacy legislation that could reshape how Facebook and other tech titans collect and use information from its consumers, but the efforts have yet to yield a comprehensive bill.

The Facebook spokesperson declined to give details of Zuckerberg’s meetings, but said there are no public events planned.

Zuckerberg’s visit comes on the heels of news that the Federal Trade Commission has launched an antitrust investigation of Facebook, and the Justice Department is also conducting a broad tech antitrust probe thought to include the company.

In Congress, the House Judiciary Committee is investigating competition in the tech sector, holding hearings that have focused on Facebook and other tech giants.

Alexandra S. Levine contributed to this report.

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