The president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, has announced that his meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tomorrow is no longer behind closed doors and will be live-streamed. Tajani made the announcement in a tweet that Zuckerberg has accepted his new request for the public meeting, which is expected to also include the leaders of Parliament’s political groups and some parliament members (MEPs). The meeting was previously a private one, but according to Politico, criticism from the public, lawmakers, and MEPs led to the turnaround.
“We’re looking forward to the meeting and happy for it to be livestreamed,” Facebook said in a statement to Politico. The meeting will be streamed via the European Parliament website from 6:15PM to 7:30PM CET (12:15PM ET to 1:30PM ET) tomorrow.
I have personally discussed with Facebook CEO Mr Zuckerberg the possibilty of webstreaming meeting with him. I am glad to announce that he has accepted this new request. Great news for EU citizens. I thank him for the respect shown towards EP. Meeting tomorrow from 18:15 to 19:30— Antonio Tajani (@EP_President) May 21, 2018
Zuckerberg faced questioning from Congress last month after bombshell reports in The New York Times and The Guardian revealed data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica misused data from as many as 87 million Facebook users. Congress pressed Zuckerberg on issues including how Facebook collects data from users when they navigate the internet, censorship of conservative views on the platform, and privacy protections when it comes to minors.
Meanwhile, the UK committee has demanded Zuckerberg testify this month or face a summons the next time he enters the country. But Facebook has said that Zuckerberg ”has no plans to meet with the committee or travel to the UK at the present time.”
It’s likely this European Parliament meeting will touch on similar subjects as the congressional hearing, especially around issues of privacy, given that the GDPR goes into effect later this week. Zuckerberg’s meeting with the European Parliament can be streamed via the European Parliament website.