Zuckerberg Dismisses Facebook Monopoly Concerns

Zuckerberg apologised to the European Parliament for the

Zuckerberg apologised to the European Parliament for the"harm caused by a huge breach of users data

"Facebook is a neutral political platform", he said.

In addition to data privacy, MEPs asked about GDPR compliance, online bullying, hate speech, fake news, electioneering, regulation, Facebook's possible status as a monopoly, and more.

His comments, made while he sat at a circular table with EU Parliament leaders, dressed in a suit, tie and white shirt, echo an apology he offered last month to U.S. lawmakers.

Betraying little emotion, Zuckerberg apologised to leaders of the European Parliament in Brussels for a massive data leak, in his latest attempt to draw a line under the damaging scandal.

The tech chief had to wait until they were all delivered before responding.

Some European politicians were angered by the format of the meeting, which allowed Mr. Zuckerberg to hear all questions in advance and then choose which ones to answer. Weber asked. "Can you convince me not to?"

A spokesman for Facebook later contacted the BBC to say it had not chosen the structure. Parliament President Antonio Tajani had lobbied Facebook for weeks to send its CEO but only last week landed a confirmation.

Facebook also serves a valuable social role with tens of thousands of people having used its Safety Check feature "after the recent terrorist attacks in Berlin, Paris, London and here in Brussels", Zuckerberg said. Facebook did agree, however, to later provide further responses in written format.

Damian Collins, the chair of the British inquiry that has repeatedly asked Zuckerberg to appear before parliament, described the session as "an hour of questions, followed by a lengthy statement from Zuckerberg, with all hard questions dodged". He repeated points he previously made to United States lawmakers about Facebook's plans to hire more staff and to try to develop artificial intelligence that might identify hate speech and other banned material.

"As one of the 3 big Internet giants together with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates who have enriched our world and our societies?"

Facebook does not rank content or make any decisions on what's allowed on the "basis of a political orientation", Zuckerberg said. "Perhaps you're horrified by this creation of yours and what it's led to", he said to the 34-year-old, who looked a bit flabbergasted.

In the meantime, Facebook has already taken action and suspended 200 apps in the course of their ongoing internal audit.

The European Parliament's chosen format was a awful way to elicit answers from one of the most powerful people in the world.

"I'm the largest user of Facebook in all of the European Union institutions in terms of engagement, in terms of followers", he said.

That meant he could give broad answers.

Lawmakers even asked if Facebook should reveal its top secret algorithm so it can explain how it decides what content gets shown to what people, because of how much influence it wields over people.

His replies left them mostly frustrated. You can watch it again on Euronews' Facebook page.

As time ran out, Zuckerberg promised Facebook will respond to each of the lawmakers' questions in writing in the "next few days".

Fighting fake news: Zuckerberg broke down the issue into three areas - Spammers, fake accounts, and people sharing false information.

But that sparked a wave of criticism resulting it being livestreamed via the web.

Mr Zuckerberg had agreed to meet leaders of the European Parliament to talk about Facebook's efforts to manage data protection, fake accounts and fake news.

Tajani said MEPs want to know if "people used data for changing the position of the citizens", including during the shock 2016 referendum for Britain to leave the EU.

Several of the MEPs challenged Mr Zuckerberg over whether he was truly committed to obeying the regulation.

"Are you telling the truth, in fact, to us?" he asked the Facebook CEO about the company's pledge to adhere to Europe's privacy laws.

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