Revelations about how political operatives at Cambridge Analytica scraped data from tens of millions of Facebook users using a third-party app hasn’t just tanked the social giant’s stock price. It also has founder Mark Zuckerberg in hot water with world leaders, including lawmakers in the United States and the United Kingdom who are demanding that he provide answers about his company’s role in the scandal.
The most forceful response yet comes from members of the U.K. parliament, who have summoned Zuckerberg to appear and explain what one member called a “catastrophic failure of process.”
Back in the U.S., several senators have asked to hold a hearing about Facebook’s links to Cambridge Analytica. The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly probing whether the company violated a 2011 consent decree in which it agreed to obtain user consent for sharing data. And outspoken Oregon senator Ron Wyden sent Zuckerberg a letter today demanding answers about, among other things, how many similar incidents the company is aware of.
Top Facebook executives have stayed out of public view since the scandal broke — though Zuckerberg appeared this morning in a 30-minute internal meeting which one employee described as a “stopgap” measure designed to pacify in-company dissent before an all-hands meeting on Friday.
Zuckerberg hasn’t always done well in the spotlight. Back in 2010, he started sweating so profusely during an interview with journalist Kara Swisher that he was forced to remove his signature hoodie. In 2017, Zuckerberg traveled the country in a publicity tour that some commentators speculated could imply he was considering a bid for political office — a claim that Zuckerberg has denied.