For Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his critics in Congress, Festivus may be coming early this year.
The Facebook boss is on Capitol Hill this week to meet with lawmakers, which comes as Reuters writes the company is seeking to improve its reputation in Washington, D.C. The aim, Facebook says, is to discuss "future internet regulation," although Politico reports that "officials set to huddle with the Facebook chief say they also plan to air their grievances about the company's conduct."
Among the lawmakers Zuckerberg is set to meet with is Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), who in the past has been highly critical of Facebook amid its numerous privacy scandals and has voiced concerns about its plans to launch a cryptocurrency, Libra. Schatz told Politico he'll bring the planned cryptocurrency up with Zuckerberg, saying, "I just don't like the Libra idea."
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Zuckerberg, Axios reports, is also set to meet with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), another Facebook critic who said in an interview with The Verge earlier this year, "I think Facebook is an extremely creepy company. I don't know if they've done a good job with anything. I'm not a very big fan." The Hill's Emily Birnbaum reports Zuckerberg and Hawley will meet Thursday, and Reuters reports Zuckerberg will also meet with members of the Trump administration. He already dined with some lawmakers, including Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), on Wednesday evening.
This is Zuckerberg's first time back on Capitol Hill since he testified before Congress about the Cambridge Analytica scandal in April 2018. Needless to say, a lot has happened since then, including the Federal Trade Commission launching an antitrust probe of Facebook, as well as the FTC fining Facebook $5 billion for its privacy practices. Unlike last time, none of Zuckerberg's events this week will be public.
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