Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rejected calls from a US politician to allow a third-party audit on censorship on its platform and sell-off WhatsApp and Instagram, during one of a series of meetings in Washington.
Following an exchange with the executive, US senator Josh Hawley tweeted he had challenged Zuckerberg to show Facebook was “serious about bias, privacy and competition” by selling the two platforms and submit to independent scrutiny on censorship. The Facebook boss apparently dismissed both requests.
It is perhaps no surprise Hawley made the requests as a prominent critic of large technology companies who has in the past questioned the likes of Amazon on the scale of its activities.
Facebook acquired messaging platform WhatsApp in 2014 for US$16 billion having already paid US$1 billion for Instagram in 2012. Critics argue with the three assets under one parent company there is not enough competition in the social media sector.
This is not the first time senators have questioned Facebook’s stance on competition, with Zuckerberg rejecting claims he ran a monopoly during a hearing about the well-publicised Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The company is also being investigated as part of a wide-ranging US investigation into the activities and practices of technology giants such as Amazon, Google and Apple.
During his latest visit to the US capital, Zuckerberg also met with a number of other politicians including US President Donald Trump.-Mobile World Live