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Will Zuckerberg's 'face' time on Capitol Hill yield results?

Christian de La Chapelle

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was on Capitol Hill for a second day of meetings -- this time with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, among other representatives.  And separately with Representative Adam Schiff of California (who is currently the Chair on the House Intelligence Committee).  Among the topics discussed were greater compromise between tech companies and government entities, as well as election security and concerns about potential anti-competitive practices and antitrust issues.

Collins told Fox News' Hillary Vaughn and other reporters that the meeting Zuckerberg and the congressmen had was an “honest discussion . . . a good conversation," adding that “they're engaging to find solutions”.  On the subject of a document request from the House Judiciary Committee (where Collins is the ranking member), the congressman was hopeful that Zuckerberg would be helpful going forward: "I encouraged him to come to the table [and] help us out in this, that this was not an adversarial role, from my perspective . . . And I think they're very open to that they've always been open, you know, to discuss this and I think with their involvement, you're going to see a lot more."

Schiff told reporters that he and Zuckerberg spoke in their meeting about making sure that elections are not interfered with via bad actors in the future: “I think he fully appreciates the gravity of the situation”.  Beyond that, Schiff opined that he believes that tech companies and the intelligence community are doing a better job these days of interacting and sharing information: “My understanding talking to tech and intel [is] that [the] level of cooperation has improved, but [there is] still more work to be done”.

These meetings today happened on the heels of Zuckerberg's other get-togethers in and around Washington DC on Thursday, where Zuckerberg had what a Facebook spokesperson called "a good, constructive meeting" with President Trump.  Beyond that, on Wednesday night, at his initiation and set up by Senator Mark Warner (D - VA),  Zuckerberg had dinner with various senators, including Senator Richard Blumenthal (D -CT).

All of these meetings with lawmakers come as Zuckerberg's Facebook is facing some very real, very significant potential governmental headwinds in its future. Presidential contender and Senator Warren (D - MA) is suggesting breaking up big technological companies, while the Federal Trade Commission recently created a tech task force to examine anti-competitive and antitrust issues.

Earlier on Friday, Facebook announced that it had suspended tens of thousands of apps, related to 400 developers, in conjunction with an ongoing app developer investigation started in March 2018.


Fox News reporter Hillary Vaughn contributed to this report

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