Following numerous calls from lawmakers for him to answer questions about the latest data scandals, Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Report CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to testify in front of Congress next week.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced Wednesday morning that Zuckerberg will testify at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11. He is expected to address the data misuse by Cambridge Analytica that affected as many as 50 million Facebook users. In an interview with CNN on March 21 after several days of silence, Zuckerberg said that he was willing to testify, so long as he was the Facebook employee best-suited to do so.
Zuckerberg and his company have come under sharp criticism due to the scandal, with the latest being New York City comptroller Scott Stringer telling CNBC on Monday that the CEO should step down as chairman of Facebook's board. Stringer oversees the city's pension funds, which hold about $1 billion in Facebook shares.
Facebook has been modifying the platform to make privacy controls clearer and improve transparency. On Monday, the company's Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos announced in a blog post that the company removed dozens of Facebook and Instagram accounts and over 130 Facebook Pages controlled by the Russian Internet Research Agency, or IRA. The IRA had previously had been implicated in trying to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election via fake accounts on Facebook and elsewhere.
"The IRA has repeatedly used complex networks of inauthentic accounts to deceive and manipulate people who use Facebook, including before, during and after the 2016 U.S. presidential elections," Stamos wrote. "It's why we don't want them on Facebook."
The controversies caused the stock to plummet in the days following the initial report published by the New York Times as investors feared customer defections and increased regulation, but the share price has stabilized over the past few days. The stock opened trading down 1.8% to $153.25 on Wednesday. Over the past month, Facebook shares have dropped 13.5%.