The Latest: GOP politician defends Facebook in hearing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony before Congress (all times local):

11 a.m.

An unusual partisan divide has quickly opened during Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's hearing in front of Congress.

From President Donald Trump on down, Republicans have been among Facebook's sharpest critics, complaining that the social network is biased against them — generally without offering evidence.

But the ranking Republican member of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, charged that today's hearing was "an attack on innovation" and that attacking companies like Facebook puts American corporations behind technology advances in places like China.

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Rep. Maxine Waters, the California Democrat who chairs the panel, said that Facebook's cryptocurrency project Libra "create many concerns" and argued that maybe Facebook should be broken up.

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1 a.m.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is again appearing before Congress to face questions about his company's massive market power, privacy lapses and tolerance of speech deemed false or hateful.

Zuckerberg will testify at a hearing Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee about Facebook's plan to create a global digital currency, which has stirred opposition from lawmakers and regulators in the U.S. and Europe.

But the full range of policies and conduct of the social media giant with nearly 2.5 billion users will be under the public glare.

It's the Facebook chief's first testimony to Congress since April 2018.

Many of the company's moves seems to spark public and official anger these days, from its alleged anticompetitive behavior to its refusal to take down phony political ads or doctored videos.

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