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Facebook accused of 'tissue of lies'

Facebook accused of telling MPs 'a tissue of lies'
Facebook has been accused of telling MPs "a tissue of lies" over how it shares people's information. A senior executive from the social media giant appeared before 24 politicians from nine different countries in a self-styled "international grand committee". Facebook rejected the claim but its founder - Mark Zuckerberg - again refused to give evidence. David Cornock was watching. 
You can hear more from Today in Parliament on BBC Radio 4 at 11:30pm

Facebook boss faces MP probe

Richard Allan
Liberal Democrats

Facebook UK boss Richard Allan is expected to be among a number of officials giving evidence to an "international grand committee" on disinformation and fake news in London shortly this morning.

The Liberal Democrat peer will be questioned by UK MPs and parliamentarians from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Latvia and Singapore during the special session in Westminster.

Lord Allan is Facebook's vice-president of policy solutions and was the MP for Sheffield Hallam between 1997 and 2005.

He was succeeded in the seat by Sir Nick Clegg, who recently joined Facebook as head of its global affairs and communications team.

Time to 'break up' the social media giants?

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Facebook and Big Ben
Facebook/Getty Images

Facebook is under fire again as a committee of MPs is considering whether to publish a series of emails it seized.

With regulators getting much more interested in policing Silicon Valley companies, is it time to break up some of the social media giants?

"In certain cases that may be the only way forward," says Dipayan Ghosh, a former privacy and policy adviser at Facebook, who also used to advise President Obama on tech policy.

He tells the Today Programme: "These companies have become tremendously powerful by sucking up smaller companies and amassing a data and behavioural advertising universe that essentially controls the consumer internet.

"That is tremendous control and is tremendous power that these companies have."

He points out that we want the internet to be a free and open place that encourages communication but adds; "We need much more robust competition policy frameworks that could include breaking up these companies."

Facebook 'needs to diversify'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Getty Images

Shanti Kelemen, investment director at Coutts, has been discussing the news that a cache of Facebook documents has been seized by MPs investigating the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

She said that Facebook needs to think about diversifying into other areas, rather than relying on its data-led business.

She told the Today Programme: "There’s been talk of Facebook going into payments, which is something the Chinese internet giants do, and there’s been talks about them going into dating.

"But as long as their sole business is focused on data usage and selling that data for advertising, it’s a difficult place to be in the current regulatory requirement."

We'll find out later this week whether the MPs will release the documents.

Tech-wreck and scandals weigh on Facebook

BBC Radio 5 live

Facebook and Westminster
Getty Images/Facebook

Facebook's share price has tumbled in recent weeks - and it is likely to remain under pressure after documents were seized by MPs investigating the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

"Facebook has got two major headwinds," says Mouhammed Choukeir, chief investment officer at Kleinwort Hambros.

Facebook share price over one year
Facebook share price over one year

"One is the so-called tech-wreck - essentially the tech space has come under a lot of pressure this year, partly because it has had such a strong run in the last few years.

"But it also had very company specific issues around data, about breaches, about its role in politics and so on, so that is part of the reason that it has suffered."

He says: "Interesting though it is against a backdrop of very strong earnings for the company. They are still producing record earnings and they're growing quarter on quarter yet [Facebook's shares] are down 40%."

Good morning!

Welcome to Business Live.

The pound is in for an interesting couple of weeks as Theresa May now attempts to sell her Brexit withdrawal deal to UK MPs.

There are more developments regarding the arrest of Carlos Ghosn who denies allegations of financial misconduct made against him by Japanese car firm Nissan.

We'll also be keeping an eye on Facebook's share price after the extraordinary developments at the weekend as well as monitoring oil prices following steep falls at the end of last week.

Could it mean cheaper prices at the pumps?

As always, we'd love to hear from you. Email Business Live at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk