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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg humiliated by Damian Collins committee

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facebook ceo mark zuckerbergFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

  • A report by British lawmakers has taken direct aim at Mark Zuckerberg.
  • The report accuses Facebook’s CEO of “contempt” after he failed to show up to give evidence to a British parliamentary committee.
  • The committee’s chair, Damian Collins, said Zuckerberg fails to show the “leadership and personal responsibility” required of the CEO of a $464 billion company.
  • Facebook did not directly respond to the barb against its CEO, but said its senior executives made a “significant contribution” to the committee’s work.

A devastating report from a UK parliamentary committee has taken direct aim at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, accusing him of “contempt.”

The UK’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee (DCMSC) on Monday released its report on fake news following an 18-month inquiry, which has taken in evidence from 73 witnesses.

The report called for urgent regulation of Facebook — including an independent UK body to stamp out harmful or illegal content — and skewered Zuckerberg for refusing to give evidence to the committee three times.

“By choosing not to appear before the Committee and by choosing not to respond personally to any of our invitations, Mark Zuckerberg has shown contempt towards both our Committee and the ‘International Grand Committee’ involving members from nine legislators from around the world,” the 110-page report said.

In November 2018, the DCMS and the International Grand Committee empty chaired Zuckerberg when he failed to show up to give evidence, sending a junior executive in his place.

Read more: The most explosive moments from Facebook’s hearing, where furious lawmakers tore into ‘frat-boy billionaire’ Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg empty chairMark Zuckerberg’s empty chair at Westminster.Gabriel Sainhas, House of Commons

DCMSC chair Damian Collins has been a vocal critic of Zuckerberg and in January called on him to appear before the DCMS in a New York Times op-ed. Collins did not let up in his criticism of the tech mogul following the report’s publication.

“Even if Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t believe he is accountable to the UK Parliament, he is to the billions of Facebook users across the world. Evidence uncovered by my Committee shows he still has questions to answer yet he’s continued to duck them, refusing to respond to our invitations directly or sending representatives who don’t have the right information,” Collins said in a statement.

“Mark Zuckerberg continually fails to show the levels of leadership and personal responsibility that should be expected from someone who sits at the top of one of the world’s biggest companies.”

Facebook’s response to the committee’s report did not include any direct reference to the personal attack on Zuckerberg. It said Facebook had cooperated with the DCMSC inquiry.

“We share the Committee’s concerns about false news and election integrity and are pleased to have made a significant contribution to their investigation over the past 18 months, answering more than 700 questions and with four of our most senior executives giving evidence,” Facebook’s head of UK public policy Karim Palant said in a statement.

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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