In an ironic twist in the saga of Facebook’s troubles, Russian lawmakers have declared that they, too, would like to question Mark Zuckerberg.
According to the Moscow Times, senator Anton Belyakov yesterday offered to invite the Facebook CEO to address the upper chamber of the Russian parliament. “After all, he spoke about information security, not giving access to personal data, preventing the dissemination of harmful content,” Belyakov reportedly said, referring to Zuckerberg’s meetings with the US Congress and European Parliament. Another reason for those meetings was to discuss whether the social network facilitated Russian meddling in foreign elections.
Facebook is not as popular in Russia as it is in other countries, with homegrown copycat social network Vkontakte far outpacing it in popularity. The US company is in trouble with Russian authorities for disobeying a 2015 law that requires it to store the data of Russian citizens on the country’s soil. In April, the state communications watchdog threatened that if Facebook didn’t comply, it would face the same fate as LinkedIn, which was banned in the country last year.
The speaker of the house, Valentina Matvienko said that she would “issue an order” to have Zuckerberg invited. To a senator who objected that Zuckerberg was “Russophobic,” Matvienko said “We have to meet with Russophobes too.” She suggested that the parliament ask him about Russophobic statements.
Facebook was not immediately available for comment.
Zuckerberg went through an excruciatingly long two days of testimony in the US Congress, and a much shorter, but perhaps more painful meeting with EU lawmakers. Much to the chagrin of UK politicians, he has not agreed to multiple calls, and even a mild threat, to testify in front of a UK parliamentary committee.