After two weeks of watching his company take a beating for doling out the most intimate details of people's lives like lollies, Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly resigned himself to testify before US Congress. But so far, Facebook isn't saying anything about it publicly.
CNN's Dylan Byers reported that Zuckerberg has succumbed to pressure from Washington and decided to appear in corporeal form and verbally communicate with lawmakers.
Demands that Zuckerberg testify followed the revelation that Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy hired by Donald Trump's presidential campaign and other US politicians, obtained data on at least 50 million Facebook users through unauthorised means. Facebook learned of Cambridge's use of the data in 2015 and demanded the firm delete the data. But that reportedly didn't actually happen.
The social media network is now the focus of a Federal Trade Commission investigation into its helter-skelter data-sharing policies. Amid a stirring advertising exodus, the company lost roughly $US73 billion ($95 billion) in market value within 10 days, according to financial reports.
Facebook has yet to respond to a query from Gizmodo about Mark's decision to be personally accountable for his company's actions before Congress. Soon after Byers' report, however, the Washington Post quickly confirmed that Facebook is discussing details of his appearance, also citing an anonymous source, which reeks of a coordinated leak.
The Zuckerberg empire is burning from all directions at once. Yes, the man who once called his users 'dumb fucks' for entrusting him to be the steward of their personal data is in the midst of a disastrous and very public reckoning. Take a moment to process this unexpected turn of events if you must.
Just about everyone is pissed at Mark because, well, the entire world suddenly and belatedly woke up to the fact that Facebook's global data collection is fuelling countless shadowy institutions whose aim is to manipulate voters and subvert the democratic process.
And boy are the Brits going to be pissed. Last night, Facebook sent a letter to UK lawmakers saying he would not be appearing before Parliament. Facebook executives Mike Schroepfer and Chris Cox will reportedly attend in his stead.