EU's Verhofstadt accused Zuckerberg of creating a 'digital monster'

Sticking close to his prepared remarks Mark Zuckerberg began his testimony with an apology similar to the one

Sticking close to his prepared remarks Mark Zuckerberg began his testimony with an apology similar to the one he offered US lawmakers last month

Zuckerberg will go on to meet French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday but has so far declined to appear in front of British lawmakers.

For example, Zuckerberg faced a sustained line of questioning about how Facebook builds "shadow profiles" on non-Facebook users and whether users can opt out - but Zuckerberg barely touched upon this in his responses.

It comes just a month after he was grilled by US Congress following revelations that millions of Facebook users had their private information mined by Cambridge Analytica, a political analytic research firm.

He then launched into a well-rehearsed mea culpa routine over Facebook's data protection record, saying: "We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibilities. That was a mistake, and I'm sorry".

Zuckerberg was grilled by lawmakers on Capitol Hill over the Cambridge Analytica scandal last month. While the question and vague answer session lasted a rather substantial 80 minutes, the last few moments were reportedly comprised of nothing but complaints that the CEO had wasted the panel's time. Facebook, he said, controls only 6 percent of the global advertising market and faces plenty of competitors, adding that there are "18 million small businesses that use Facebook tools" to grow their business.

The meeting was streamed on the Parliament website, as well as on its Facebook page.

Zuckerberg acknowledged that regulators are likely more interested in the consumer choice aspect, though he pointed out that Facebook allows for small businesses to promote themselves in "sophisticated ways.that previously only large businesses had the means to do".

The MEPs seemed to expect Zuckerberg to answer most of the questions in the same way he did in the U.S. Congressional hearings, which is exactly what he did for the most part.

The biggest frustration of European Union parliamentarians was the format of the questioning. The CEO agreed to follow up in writing to numerous questions and offered to send a company representative to testify before a future hearing. "He responded to our offer of a meeting", he said.

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"I asked you six yes and no questions", Philippe Lamberts, a Green party politician, said.

The 34-year-old billionaire's performance clearly frustrated the lawmakers, one of whom remarked that Zuckerberg "asked for this format for a reason".

"That is why I asked Mark Zuckerberg what work he is doing with authorities and third parties to ensure young people and families are educated about online safety, who they can contact and how they can seek help".

Mark Zuckerberg confronted a hostile European Parliament on Tuesday as politicians grilled the Facebook chief executive on whether his company is a monopoly that has become a threat to democracy and should be broken up. He also asked how Facebook commercializes that data.

"We still don't know the depths that people's data has been abused", he said.

"Are you capable to fix it?"

He said: "Since January this year you've changed your modus operandi, you changed your algorithms and it has led directly to a very substantial drop in views and engagements for those that have got right-of-centre opinions".

There was no mention of Diamond and Silk, aka Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, the pro-Trump personalities discussed in the USA hearings after becoming a cause célèbre among US conservatives who claimed the duo were being censored on Facebook.

One approach, Verhofstadt said, would be to base a payment on the value each person brings to the company through their social media account. The European Parliament also plans to convene another hearing, with Facebook and fellow tech companies, to discuss more technical issues. "I thought it was more, but... maybe my wife thinks it's less".

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