Full Text: Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘Apology’ Speech to European Politicians

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 10: Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. Zuckerberg, 33, was called to testify after it was reported that 87 million …
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Mark Zuckerberg will face questions on Tuesday from European politicians on a variety of the social media giant’s issues around privacy and user data.

On Tuesday, European politicians will grill Zuckerberg on issues such as “fake news,” data leaks, and election interference. The meeting will feature prepared marks from Zuckerberg and then questions from members of the European Parliament. In April, Zuckerberg was questioned before the two congressional committees on similar issues.

You can read the entirety of Zuckerberg’s prepared remarks below. You can watch the event live here from 6:15 p. m. to 7:30 p.m. CET which is 12:15 p.m. EDT.

Europeans make up a large and incredibly important part of our global community. Many of the values Europeans care most deeply about are values we share: from the importance of human rights and the need for community to a love of technology, with all the potential it brings.

In order to realize that potential, we need to make technology a force for good. As Facebook has grown, we’ve helped give people everywhere a powerful new tool to stay connected with the people they care about. After the recent terrorist attacks in Berlin, Paris, London and here in Brussels, tens of thousands of people have used Safety Check to let their friends and family know they’re safe. Refugees arriving in Europe are using Facebook to stay in touch with their loved ones back home and find new communities here. There are 18 million small businesses in Europe that use Facebook today, mostly for free — almost half of whom say they have hired more people as a result.

“But it’s also become clear over the last couple of years that we haven’t done enough to prevent the tools we’ve built from being used for harm as well. Whether it’s fake news, foreign interference in elections or developers misusing people’s information, we didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibilities. That was a mistake, and I’m sorry.

It will take time to work through all of the changes we must make. But I’m committed to getting it right — and to making the significant investments needed to keep people safe. For example, we’re doubling the number of people working on safety and security to more than 20,000 people by the end of this year. On top of the investments we’re making in other areas, I expect this will significantly impact our profitability. But I want to be clear: keeping people safe will always be more important than maximizing our profits.

We’re committed to Europe. Ireland is home to our European Headquarters. London is home to our biggest engineering team outside the United States; Paris is home to our artificial intelligence research lab; and we have data centers in Sweden, Ireland and Denmark, which will open in 2020. By the end of 2018, Facebook will employ 10,000 people across 12 European cities — up from 7,000 today. And we will continue to invest. For example, we’ve committed to providing one million people and small businesses with digital skills training by 2020.

My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people, helping them to build communities and bringing the world closer together.

I believe deeply in what we’re doing. And when we address these challenges, I know we’ll look back and view helping people connect and giving more people a voice as a positive force here in Europe and around the world.

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