The Date Is Set For Zuckerberg’s Testimony Before Congress

Eric Lieberman | Associate Editor

Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced Wednesday morning that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before them April 11 at 10:00 a.m.

There were several reports at the end of March that said Zuckerberg agreed to testify, but the exact dates either varied or were absent altogether. Following a slate of recent events and revelations, the entrepreneurial wunderkind will be pressed by U.S. officials on the company’s handling of user data, and how it ensures that the platform isn’t exploited for nefarious purposes.

“This hearing will be an important opportunity to shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues and help all Americans better understand what happens to their personal information online,” said Republican Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon and Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey, both of whom are the top two members of the committee presiding over the hearing. “We appreciate Mr. Zuckerberg’s willingness to testify before the committee, and we look forward to him answering our questions on April 11th.”

Facebook has been undergoing a substantial amount of public scrutiny in recent weeks. First, the social media giant was accused of indirectly helping Russia intervene in U.S. politics by offering a platform and set of features, which were used by certain operatives looking to rile up an already divisive and tumultuous American electorate. Then, months later, Facebook disclosed that it was suspending a data analytics firm that worked with President Donald Trump’s campaign because it violated a contractual agreement of what it could do with purchased user data, and then subsequently refused to delete such data when the company demanded it do so. (RELATED: Zuckerberg: I Am ‘Fundamentally Uncomfortable’ Deciding If Content Is Hate Speech Or Not)

Overall, those two happenings, and several others, contributed to the ire of a population steadily growing more concerned with the tech company’s (and larger industry’s) growing power.

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