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Oscar Williams

News editor

British and Canadian MPs join forces in attempt to grill Mark Zuckerberg

British MPs have once again called on Mark Zuckerberg to appear before an inquiry investigating the rise of fake news.

Earlier this year, the Facebook CEO ignored a formal summons from the inquiry urging him to answer questions about his company’s role in promoting disinformation.

But in a renewed bid to grill the Facebook CEO, the inquiry has now teamed up with its Canadian counterpart to hold a joint hearing on the subject on 27 November.

In a letter co-signed by Canadian politician Bob Zimmer, Damian Collins – the Conservative chair of the inquiry – described Zuckerberg’s evidence as “overdue and urgent”.

“Given your self-declared objective to “fix” Facebook, and to prevent the platform’s malign use in world affairs and democratic process, we would like to give you the chance to appear at this hearing,” the politicians wrote.

“We call on you to take up this historic opportunity to tell parliamentarians from both sides of the Atlantic and beyond about the measures Facebook is taking to halt the spread of disinformation on your platform, and to protect user data.”

Asked by the New Statesman earlier this year about why Zuckerberg had repeatedly snubbed calls to appear before the committee, Collins said: “Maybe he fears that he would be subjected to a level of scrutiny that he has not had elsewhere. The format of our hearings lends itself much better to proper questioning than the US Senate’s.”