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Thursday 17 October 2019

'They can't force me to testify' - Zuckerberg leak

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Gerard Julien
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Gerard Julien

Mark Zuckerberg does not see the need for him to attend hearings across the globe scrutinising Facebook's practices, according to leaked audio from an internal meeting.

The tech giant's founder is heard telling workers that other countries do not have the power to demand that he attend such hearings, in recordings obtained by The Verge.

Mr Zuckerberg has turned down multiple opportunities to stand before MPs in the UK and elsewhere who want answers over data breaches, electoral interference and the spread of hate speech on the platform.

"The reality on the hearings thing is, I'm not going to go to every single hearing around the world," Mr Zuckerberg reportedly said.

"A lot of different people want to do that. When the issues came up last year around Cambridge Analytica, I did hearings in the US, I did hearings in the EU.

"It just doesn't really make sense for me to go to hearings in every single country that wants to have me show up and, frankly, doesn't have jurisdiction to demand that.

Criticise

"But people are going to use the position of the company and me to criticise us."

Mr Zuckerberg also allegedly told staff that he thought some reports about the wellness of Facebook moderators who remove harmful content were "a little overdramatic".

"From digging into them and understanding what's going on, it's not that most people are just looking at just terrible things all day long," he reportedly said.

Writing on his Facebook page, Mr Zuckerberg said: "Every week I do a Q&A at Facebook where employees get to ask me anything and I share openly what I'm thinking on all kinds of projects and issues.

"The transcript from one of my Q&As a few months ago just got published online."

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