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McKinley Questions Facebook CEO on Social Media Comapny's Role in Opioid Crisis

Andrew Harnik
AP Photo
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy.

Although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is giving testimony to Congress on issues related to data privacy surrounding the 2016 election, a West Virginia congressman used his time to question the tech mogul on the social media network’s influence on the opioid crisis.

Congressman David McKinley’s concerns on the matter surround online pharmacies selling highly addictive painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet without prescriptions through posts on Facebook.

"Facebook is actually enabling an illegal activity and, in so doing, you are hurting people. Would you agree with that statement?" McKinley asked the CEO.

"Congressman, I think that there are a number of areas of content that we need to do a better job policing on our service," Zuckerberg responded.

McKinley cited recent comments from the Federal Drug Administration stating that regulators believe nearly 96 percent of the 35,000 online pharmacies operating today are doing so illegally.

Zuckerberg has said in the past that posts from illegal pharmacies would be taken down. With such activity persisting, the CEO said he will advocate for more sophisticated artificial intelligence technology to identify the posts -- in addition to the company responding to illegal activity flagged by users.

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