Sep 19, 2019 - Technology

Mark Zuckerberg dines with senators in D.C.

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg testifies during a US House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 11, 2018.

Mark Zuckerberg testifies during a Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., April 2018. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed election security and privacy with a group of senators over dinner ahead of his return to Capitol Hill Thursday, said a spokesperson for Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who organized the meeting.

Why it matters: Per Axios' Mike Allen, Zuckerberg is returning to Washington to meet with lawmakers for the first time since he testified before Congress in April 2018. He's trying to engage with Washington at a time when pressure on Facebook is rising from regulators and legislators around the world.

  • Facebook "faces antitrust investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and a number of state attorneys general as well as numerous legislative proposals that seek to restrict how it operates," Reuters notes.

The big picture: Warner's spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Axios that he organized Wednesday's dinner at Facebook's request.

"The participants had a discussion touching on multiple issues, including the role and responsibility of social media platforms in protecting our democracy, and what steps Congress should take to defend our elections, protect consumer data, and encourage competition in the social media space."
  • The spokesperson said Warner had released a white paper addressing potential approaches for addressing such challenges, noting that he had introduced several bills to regulate social media platforms including Facebook.

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