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Mark Zuckerberg Flies Out To Washington D.C. To Meet With The U.S. Senators

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg met with six U.S. senators on Wednesday for dinner as the corporate seeks to boost its status in Washington.

The social media giant has been underneath hearth on quite a lot of fronts for greater than a year and faces antitrust investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and various state attorneys normal in addition to quite a few legislative proposals that search to limit the way it operates.

Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat, and vice-chair of the Intelligence Committee helped set up a dinner for Zuckerberg with different senators on the firm’s request, Warner spokeswoman Rachel Cohen mentioned.

At an unnamed restaurant, the senators and Zuckerberg mentioned “the function and duty of social media platforms in defending our democracy, and what steps Congress ought to take to defend our elections, shield client information, and encourage competitors within the social media space,” she stated.

It’s Zuckerberg’s first journey to Washington since April 2018, when he fielded 10 hours of questions over two days from almost 100 U.S. lawmakers over privacy issues, election security, and potential regulation.

Zuckerberg is ready to be on Capitol Hill Thursday to carry out additional conferences, together with Utah Senator Mike Lee, a Republican.

Zuckerberg shall be in Washington to “speak about future internet regulation” with policymakers however has no public occasions deliberate, Facebook stated in a press release Wednesday.

An individual briefed on the matter mentioned he was additionally anticipated to carry conferences with the Trump administration. A White House spokesman declined to remark.

Facebook, which agreed to a record-setting $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over privateness practices in July, additionally faces antitrust investigations by the FTC and a gaggle of state attorneys general.

The FTC privacy probe was triggered final year by allegations that Facebook violated a 2012 consent decree by inappropriately sharing data belonging to 87 million customers with the now-defunct British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. The consultancy’s shoppers included Trump’s 2016 election marketing campaign.

The world’s largest social media community has additionally drawn ire from Capitol Hill after it introduced plans in June to launch the Libra cryptocurrency because it expands into e-commerce. The venture, comprised of a consortium of monetary corporations based mostly in Switzerland, is scheduled to launch in 2020.