Zuckerberg conspicuous in his absence at international hearing

CNET | 11/27/2018 | Katie Collins
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Where's Zuck?

Lawmakers from nine parliaments around the world met Tuesday in London to discuss the problem of disinformation on Facebook.

Seat - Table - Vacant - Nameplate - Mark

But there was seat at the table that remained starkly vacant. Behind the nameplate "Mark Zuckerberg" was an empty chair.

Zuckerberg declined repeated invitations to attend the inaugural session of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation, which took place at the UK's Parliament. His decision irked the 24 politicians in attendance, some of who had flown from as far as South America and Asia to attend.

Time - Facebook - CEO - Absence - Year

It's far from the first time the Facebook CEO has been conspicuous by his absence this year.

When the Cambridge Analytica data misuse revelations came to light in March, Zuckerberg failed to address the scandal for multiple days -- either with his own employees, or in public. The social network chief was nowhere to be seen and cries of "where's Zuck?" echoed around the world and trended on social media. Even though Zuckerberg has since spoken publicly about the scandal, including testifying before the US Congress, there are still many politicians who say he hasn't answered for his company's failures.

Zuckerberg - Invitations - London - Evidence - UK

Zuckerberg rejected multiple invitations to come to London and provide evidence to UK Parliament's fake-new inquiry over the past year. He also declined opportunities to appear via web link. The Facebook boss has spoken twice publicly in Europe this year -- once for a short session in front of the European Parliament and once onstage at Vivatech (a conference organized by a PR agency) in Paris, where he was not asked a single direct question about Cambridge Analytica.

His absence at Tuesday's session sparked outrage among the politicians in attendance, who repeatedly referred to his failure to attend throughout the day.

Politician - Nele - Lijnen - Allan - Flemish

Belgian politician Nele Lijnen asked Allan if he knew the Flemish phrase "sending your cat." "It means not...
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