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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg Faces Possible Contempt of Congress

In a significant development, the House Judiciary Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Jim Jordan, R-OH, is gearing up to consider holding Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress. This decision comes as Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has been the subject of scrutiny over its handling of internal documents requested by the Committee.

Sources with direct knowledge of the proceedings informed FOX Business about the Committee’s plans. According to these sources, Meta did provide some internal documents, but the Committee found them to be inadequate, leading to a growing frustration.

The Judiciary Committee has scheduled a crucial markup on Thursday, July 27, at 2:00 p.m. EST on Capitol Hill. If the proposal garners enough support from the Committee, it will proceed to the full House of Representatives for a decisive vote.

A spokesperson for Meta addressed the situation when approached by FOX Business. The spokesperson stated, “For many months, Meta has operated in good faith with this committee’s sweeping requests for information. We began sharing documents before the committee’s February subpoena and have continued to do so.”

The spokesperson further revealed, “To date we have delivered over 53,000 pages of documents — both internal and external — and have made nearly a dozen current and former employees available to discuss external and internal matters, including some scheduled this very week. Meta will continue to comply, as we have thus far, with good faith requests from the committee.”

Chairman Jim Jordan has been relentless in his pursuit of internal documents from the Big Tech giant, even before he assumed his current position on the powerful House Judiciary Committee. His interest in the matter began when he served as a member of the Committee during the previous Congress.

In January, following the shift in power to the Republicans in the House of Representatives, the Judiciary Committee officially issued a subpoena to Meta, demanding documentation related to content moderation and censorship. Despite the initial response from Meta, Chairman Jordan expressed dissatisfaction, citing that the company’s compliance fell short of the subpoena’s requirements.

In a letter sent to Meta in May, Jordan highlighted the insufficiency of Meta’s response and warned the company about potential enforcement actions if they failed to comply fully. The letter emphasized the importance of documents related to government statements, content moderation decisions, and recommendations concerning alleged disinformation.

The Committee recently released a scathing report, underscoring their grounds for holding Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress. According to the report, while Meta did provide documents related to external entities, they failed to produce the crucial internal documents sought by the Committee. These internal documents are crucial for understanding Meta’s decision-making processes and their responses to government requests for content censorship.

The report specifically mentioned, “Having exhausted all available options in obtaining timely compliance, the Chairman of the Committee and the Select Subcommittee recommends that, pursuant to 2 U.S.C. § 192, the House finds Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress for his failure to comply with the subpoena issued to him.”

This development marks a critical juncture in the ongoing dispute between the House Judiciary Committee and Meta, with potential legal consequences for the tech giant’s CEO. As the Committee proceeds with the markup and the subsequent vote, the eyes of the nation will be on Capitol Hill to witness the unfolding events.

H2: Potential Implications on Big Tech Regulation

The possibility of holding Meta’s CEO in contempt of Congress raises significant implications for the tech industry as a whole. It signals Congress’s increasing willingness to take a tougher stance on Big Tech companies, demanding greater transparency and accountability regarding their practices. This move could pave the way for more stringent regulations to govern social media platforms and other tech giants in the future, impacting the way these companies operate and handle user data and content moderation.

As the situation unfolds, lawmakers will undoubtedly scrutinize Meta’s actions closely, looking for any potential breaches of privacy or abuse of power. The outcome of this case could set a precedent for future investigations into other tech companies, potentially leading to more subpoenas and demands for internal documents.

The tech industry, and particularly social media platforms, has faced mounting criticism over issues like data privacy, misinformation, and content moderation. Holding Mark Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress could be seen as a signal that Congress is determined to hold Big Tech accountable for their actions and that they will not shy away from using legal measures to achieve that goal.

The impact of this development could extend beyond the tech industry and have broader implications for the power dynamics between private companies and government authorities. It may also shape the future relationship between the tech industry and Congress, potentially leading to more frequent hearings and investigations to ensure compliance with regulations and protect the interests of the public.

As the House Judiciary Committee moves forward with its plans, the stakes are high for both Meta and the entire tech industry. The results of the markup and the subsequent vote will undoubtedly be closely watched by all stakeholders involved, and could potentially reshape the landscape of Big Tech regulation in the United States.

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