Global lawmakers grill Facebook exec in UK parliament

Lord Richard Allan
The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Lawmakers from nine countries grilled a Facebook executive on Tuesday as part of an international hearing at Britain’s parliament on disinformation and “fake news.”

Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice president for policy solutions, answered questions in London in place of his boss, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who ignored repeated requests to appear.

Allan, sitting next to an empty chair reserved for Zuckerberg, said the Facebook founder and CEO had already appeared before numerous other committees this year. He acknowledged that the company has not been without blame in how it handled various scandals.

“I’m not going to disagree with you that we’ve damaged public trust with some of the actions we’ve taken,” he said.

Allan was responding to Canadian lawmaker Charlie Angus, who said the social media giant has “lost the trust of the international community to self-police,” and that lawmakers have to start looking at ways to hold the company accountable.

British lawmakers were joined by their counterparts from eight other countries at the hearing held by the parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Zuckerberg accepts that what’s needed is “a regulatory framework and action by responsible companies like ours – it’s the two in tandem,” Allan said.

The hearing comes after the committee’s chairman, Damian Collins, took the unusual move of forcing the CEO of an app maker to turn over confidential Facebook documents.

.