Ohio congresswoman rips into Mark Zuckerberg, calling it ‘appalling and disgusting’ that he failed to answer questions about Facebook’s civil rights and diversity problems

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  • Ohio Congresswoman Joyce Beatty criticized Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg after he failed to answer multiple questions related to civil rights and diversity at Facebook.
  • Facebook is facing a federal lawsuit for violating fair housing laws, and the company has had its own internal struggles with diversity.
  • Beatty said Zuckerberg’s lack of knowledge was “appalling and disgusting” after was unable to identify the firm Facebook had hired to advise on civil rights matters.

Rep. Joyce Beatty called Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s approach to civil rights and diversity “appalling and disgusting” during Zuckerberg’s testimony with the House of Representatives’ Housing and Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.

Beatty is the vice-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and said she has met with Facebook several times in the past year to discuss the company’s approach to diversity and inclusion. In March, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development sued Facebook, claiming it was allowing realtors to exclude people of specific race, gender, and background from targeted housing advertisements.

Speaking during the committee meeting on Wednesday, Beatty said that Facebook has $46 billion in cash and securities, but none of its funds are handled by companies with diverse ownership, and said the company does not contract legal firms with diverse ownership either.

The congresswoman suggested that Facebook could have avoided violating federal housing policies if the company’s management had been more diverse.

“You should have known better, and maybe if you had real diversity or inclusion on your team, somebody in that room would have said, when you looked at what you were doing in the housing, how you are red lining or using zip codes to eliminate people from getting information,” Beatty said. (read more)

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