New Zealand official calls Facebook 'morally bankrupt pathological liars'

New Zealand’s top privacy official on Monday called Facebook “morally bankrupt,” remarks that come in the wake of last month's mass shooting at two Christchurch mosques that were livestreamed on the social media platform, according to The Associated Press.

“Facebook cannot be trusted. They are morally bankrupt pathological liars who enable genocide (Myanmar), facilitate foreign undermining of democratic institutions,” Privacy Commissioner John Edwards said in a since-deleted tweet, the AP reported.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Edwards's remarks came in response to an interview last week in which Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Facebook tells Trump administration it will not create messaging 'backdoor' for law enforcement LGBTQ groups accuse Facebook ads of spreading misinformation about HIV drugs MORE rejected calls to delay the company's livestream function following the massacre.

“It would … fundamentally break what livestreaming is for people,” Zuckerberg said on “Good Morning America” Thursday. “Most people are livestreaming, you know, a birthday party or hanging out with friends when they can't be together."

Facebook has said no one reported the livestream of the massacre while it was happening.

Edwards deleted the tweet, citing the “volume of toxic and misinformed traffic they prompted,” but told Radio NZ that New Zealand should consider passing a law similar to one in Australia that levies fines and possible jail time for executives of social media companies that fail to remove violent content in a timely manner.

“It may be that regulating, as Australia has done just in the last week, would be a good interim way to get their attention and say: ‘Unless you can demonstrate the safety of these services, you simply can’t use them,’” Edwards said.

Edwards has stepped up his criticism of the social media giant after the shooting due to his lack of legal recourse, his office told the AP.

“Under the current Privacy Act, his office has no penalties it can impose on global tech companies like Facebook,” the office said in a statement, according to the news service. “His only resort is to publicly name Facebook for not ensuring its livestreaming service is a safe platform which does not compound the original harm caused by the Christchurch killings.”