Facebook's Zuckerberg to meet with UK culture minister to discuss regulation

  • Zuckerberg will speak with U.K. Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
  • Topics on the agenda include the regulation of tech firms and the spread of disinformation online.
  • The meeting comes after Zuckerberg declined multiple invitations to visit U.K. Parliament to face questions from lawmakers.
Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks to participants during the Viva Technologie show at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles on May 24, 2018 in Paris, France.
Chesnot | Getty Images
Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks to participants during the Viva Technologie show at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles on May 24, 2018 in Paris, France.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is meeting with a British official Thursday to discuss internet regulation and fake news.

Zuckerberg will speak with U.K. Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright at the firm's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, about a U.K. government plan to regulate tech companies over how they tackle harmful content online.

Another topic high on the agenda will be the spread of disinformation on the web, a government spokesperson said, an issue the social network has faced heightened scrutiny over globally.

"I look forward to meeting Mr. Zuckerberg to discuss what more Facebook can do to help keep people safe on their platforms, as we prepare a new regulatory framework that will reinforce Facebook's and other tech firms' responsibility to keep us safe," Wright said in a statement Thursday.

Britain's Home Office and the culture department are due to release a white paper where they will lay out their strategy to counter issues like cyberbullying and child abuse content online. Reports have said the report could include a proposed regulator similar to Ofcom, the media watchdog, to monitor social media.

The meeting comes after the tech giant's boss declined multiple invitations to visit U.K. Parliament to face questions from lawmakers. A recent parliamentary report into Facebook's collection of user data and the Cambridge Analytica scandal called the company a "digital gangster" that considers itself above the law when it comes to data privacy.

Facebook says 87 million users' data were improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica. The firm was fined last year by the U.K.'s data protection watchdog for mishandling people's data.

The company has gone on the offensive recently, defending its model of collecting user data while selling ads to companies that target consumers based on their interests and clicking habits.

Its chief executive has also begun to increase his public presence, recently appearing at a seminar with a Harvard law professor. The move was part of Zuckerberg's "New Year's resolution" to hold more public discussions about the future of technology in society.