Dec 8, 2020

Facebook: Details of Mark Zuckerberg and Matt Hancock meeting released

The papers show Mark Zuckerberg called the UK "Anti-tech" and expressed concern over the government's "Tone". At the time, the House of Commons culture committee had expressed anger that the Facebook founder had refused to answer questions from its MPs. The minutes made by the culture department said the meeting between the two men was only fixed "After several days of wrangling" and on the condition that "We were after a positive meeting and wouldn't simply demand MZ attended the select committee." Mr Hancock said he "Wanted to use the decision to legislate as a new beginning for UK government relationships with platforms" and that "The tone can shift from threatening regulation to encouraging collaborative working to ensure legislation is proportionate and innovation-friendly." Responding to the Freedom of Information release, ex-chair of the culture committee Damien Collins said the notes proved Mr Zuckerberg had been "Running scared" of MPs' investigation into disinformation and fake news. "In fact last year Mark Zuckerberg called on governments to establish new rules around harmful content, privacy, data portability, and election integrity."

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