Fed up with Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly dodging their requests to appear in person UK Parliament has issued an ultimatum to the Facebook CEO: come face us by May 24, or you'll receive a formal summons to appear the next time you set foot on UK soil.
“Following reports that he will be giving evidence to the European Parliament in May, we would like Mr Zuckerberg to come to London during his European trip," reads the committee letter signed by Conservative MP Damian Collins. "We would like the session here to place by 24 May."
“It is worth noting that, while Mr Zuckerberg does not normally come under the jurisdiction of the UK Parliament, he will do so the next time he enters the country,” Collins adds. “We hope that he will respond positively to our request, but if not the Committee will resolve to issue a formal summons for him to appear when he is next in the UK.”
BREAKING: This is pretty extraordinary. Parliament issues ultimatum to Facebook. Either Mark Zuckerberg comes voluntarily. Or, he'll face a summons next time he enters British territory. Facebook really couldn't have handled this much worse... pic.twitter.com/VFyJrHXWel
The House of Commons' Digital, Culutre, Media, and Sport Committee has invited Zuckerberg to appear three times to answer questions about data privacy and the recently coined "fake news" shared over Facebook.
The committee has been investigating efforts made by Russian actors and Cambridge Analytica affiliate AggregateIQ to influence the Brexit vote. Facebook recently admitted that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed the information of about 1 million users in the U.K., and that AggregateIQ spent $2 million on Brexit ads. It’s still unclear whether AggregateIQ used Cambridge Analytica’s data for the ad campaign, and the two companies have disputed claims that they are linked. -slate
In late March, Bloomberg reported that Zuckerberg declined to appear before the UK Parliament to answer questions about allegations of the company's misuse of customer's data. Instead, Zuck sent Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer - a decision one member of Parliament called "cowardly," and another who said it was "absolutely astonishing."
"Mr Zuckerberg has personally asked one of his deputies to make themselves available to give evidence in person to the Committee," wrote Rebecca Stimson, Facebook's head of UK public policy in a March statement.
Mark Zuckerberg declines request to appear before U.K. parliamentary committee and @DamianCollins. Recommends his Chief Technology Officer and Chief Product Officer instead. Full letter here: pic.twitter.com/Q6EueSHu8a
Damian Collins, the head of the committee that is also investigating the impact of social media on recent elections, had invited Zuckerberg to...