A number of tech execs have been invited to speak about fake news in Ottawa this year.
According to a new report from CBC, executives from some of the world’s largest digital and social media firms — including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — have been invited to appear before an international committee on the spread of disinformation and “fake news” when it meets in Ottawa this May.
The group, called the International Gran Committee on Disinformation and Fake News, will be hosted by the House of Commons for the second time and is made up of parliamentarians from Canada, the U.K., Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Ireland, Latvia, and Singapore.
Apart from Cook and Zuckerberg, invitations have apparently also been sent to Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey as well as executives from WhatsApp and Snapchat, among other companies.
Mark Zuckerberg apparently declined to attend the first meeting of the committee in November of last year, opting instead to send a Facebook vice president. This time around, however, alternates will not be permitted, says Canadian Conservative MP Bob Zimmer, the House of Commons ethics committee chair.
“It is vitally important that we hear from these top executives so that we can get the answers we’ve been seeking,” he said. “We will not be accepting testimony from regional representatives at this meeting, as previous experience has shown that their answers have proven to be, frankly, inadequate.”
The meeting takes place amidst a slew of warnings from the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security that foreign actors could be trying to manipulate public opinion with “malicious” online activity during this election year.