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Facebook's Zuckerberg and Sandberg reportedly refuse Canadian hearing summons

Facebook's Zuckerberg and Sandberg reportedly refuse Canadian hearing summons
© Greg Nash

Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergSocial media's ban on Trump: Our 'silence of the lambs' moment Trump's Facebook ban to stay in place, board rules Webb: Leftists and underlying fraud MORE and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg will defy a summons and not attend a hearing at the Canadian Parliament later this week.

The top executives could be held in contempt as a result, the Canadian politician who sent the summons told CNN.

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Zuckerberg and Sandberg were reportedly asked earlier this month to appear at an international committee meeting examining Silicon Valley's impact on privacy and democracy.

Facebook is sending Kevin Chan, its head of public policy for Facebook Canada, and Neil Potts, its director of public policy, the social media giant confirmed to The Hill.

Lawmakers from 10 countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, are scheduled to attend the meeting.

"Collectively we represent about 450 million people, it's a bigger population group than the U.S.," Bob Zimmer, the chairman of the Canadian parliamentary committee hosting the international meeting, told CNN.

Zimmer said he wanted to hear from Facebook's top two executives, not their replacements.

"Knowing the structure of Facebook and how it is micro-managed right from the top, any change on the platform is done through Mr. Zuckerberg or through Ms. Sandberg."

"It's not that hard to jump on a plane and make some time to hear from legislators and answer their questions," he told CNN.

Zimmer added that the decision to hold the two in contempt would be voted on by the whole of Parliament.

"Nobody is going to come with some handcuffs and arrest them, but to be held in contempt by an entire country would not serve any platform well," he added.

A spokesperson for Facebook told The Hill that a contempt vote is ultimately a decision for the Parliament to make.

“We share the Committee's desire to keep people safe and to hold companies like ours accountable. We look forward to answering their questions and remain committed to working with world leaders, governments, and industry experts to address these complex issues,” they added.