WASHINGTON – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, returned to the hot seat Wednesday to defend a cryptocurrency project that became the latest target of criticism from MPs, disappointed by the social media giant.
He eventually protect Facebook on Facebook a series of questions from political advertising to residential discrimination and child pornography.
At a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, Mr. Zuckerberg gave a rosy opinion on how cryptocurrency would provide a safe way for millions of Americans without a bank.
And in response to protest from financial regulators, he stated that Facebook would not Libra offers, its initiative kriptovaluta, anywhere in the world, "unless all US regulators did not approve it."
Representative Maxine Waters, chairman of the commission set the tone of the game early. She welcomed Mr Zuckerberg on the company's political advertising policy, Facebook's willingness to allow virtually unlimited platform speech and the company's moving position on how it wanted to treat so-called blockchain advertising and technology in its services.
"The impact of this will be efforts to suppress voters. Your claim to promote freedom of expression is not true, "she said.
Ms. Waters began the hearing with an opening statement, which also touched on the company's continuing problems with foreign electoral interference, privacy violations, poor performance.
Committee members say Facebook faces crisis of confidence Representative Nidia M. Velazquez, New York Democrat, cited Facebook's promise to acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014 to leave the messaging application separately from the main platform of Facebook. But a few years later, Mr. Zuckerberg announced that it will integrate data between the two applications.  "Do you understand why this record leads us to deal with the entry of Facebook into kriptovalutnoto space? Did you know you should not lie? "said Ms. Velazquez.
Mr. Zuckerberg was defensive. "Kongresmenka, I would not agree with the characterization," he said before being reduced again by additional questions.
Representatives, clad in matters of national security and the ways in which bad actors have used kriptovaluti to pursue illegal activity.  "Creating an entirely new currency which can be anonymous, which could create an entirely new threat to US national security, which is a huge concern," said Representative Carolyn Maloney, Democrat of New York.
Representative Ann Wagner, a Missouri Republican, said she was concerned about Facebook's history of child pornography on the site. The company said it has discovered millions of operational images and videos.
"You do not work hard enough and encryption end to end will not help the problem," says Ms. Wagner.
Mr. Zuckerberg acknowledged the difficulties of police on a global platform, but was again defended because he was challenged by his company's ability to respond to Facebook's image distribution.
"We are working harder than any other company to identify this behavior," Mr.
A number of criticisms have focused on Facebook's cryptocurrency efforts since its announcement in June. But Mr. Zuckerberg, who is personally fascinated by kriptovalutite, is committed to the project.
Over the past week, Facebook officials have been offensive with a spate of regulators and legislators, leading to Wednesday's hearing. And Mr. Zuckerberg took a more assertive role in protecting the social network in Washington in recent weeks.
Facebook has one of the largest operations of influence in Washington and strengthen lobbying in response to the increased control of the government this year. The company is on track to spend $ 12.3 million on lobbying the federal government in the first nine months of the year, compared to $ 12.6 million for all of last year's public filings.
But the financial industry and technology companies are growing. more and more ridiculing the cryptocurrency project. Initially, Facebook brought together 27 partners to join the Libra Association in Switzerland, which is to run the network. But several big-name partners, including PayPal, Mastercard and Visa, have dropped out.
Mr. Zuckerberg described Libra as a democratizing financial system that would benefit mostly poor consumers, as well as the estimated 14 million people in the United States who do not have access to bank accounts and cannot afford bank fees.
"People also pay a very high price – and have to wait too long – to send money home to their families abroad. The current system refuses them, "Mr Zuckerberg said in a preliminary version of his testimony. "The financial industry is stagnant and lacks the digital financial architecture to support the innovation we need. I believe this problem can be solved and Libra can help. ”
This is an evolving story. It will be updated.