The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pays rare D.C. visit to meet with lawmakers

The meetings are Zuckerberg’s first known trip to the nation’s capital since he testified before Congress last year.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, seen last year arriving on Capitol Hill. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is paying a rare visit to Washington this week, meeting with members of Congress to discuss the “future of Internet regulation.”

The meetings — confirmed by Facebook on Wednesday — are part of Zuckerberg’s first known visit to the nation’s capital since he testified for 10 hours in front of lawmakers last year in response to privacy scandals at the tech giant.

Facebook declined to offer further details on the trip, including whether Zuckerberg would visit the White House.

In March, Zuckerberg called on regulators to take a “more active role” on issues related to Internet policy, including areas such as online extremism, political advertising and data privacy.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg just survived 10 hours of questioning by Congress

“The rules governing the Internet allowed a generation of entrepreneurs to build services that changed the world and created a lot of value in people’s lives,” he wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post. “It’s time to update these rules to define clear responsibilities for people, companies and governments going forward.”

But Zuckerberg could get an earful from lawmakers who want to see Facebook adopt a more aggressive approach to these matters, too. Democrats and Republicans have called on the tech giant to be more proactive in spotting and removing harmful content and protecting users’ data. Some on Capitol Hill feel Facebook should have faced a larger fine and other tough punishments from the U.S. government after privacy scandals including its entanglement with political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.