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WASHINGTON — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to appear on Capitol Hill next week to talk about how tech companies protect user data, but FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has a different bone to pick: holding tech companies accountable for illicit opioids bought and sold on their platforms.

“I’m concerned that social media companies, internet service providers that host websites, and others in the internet ecosystem haven’t been proactive enough in rooting out these illegal offers to distribute opioids from their respective platforms,” he said Wednesday, specifically naming Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft’s Bing, at an addiction policy summit in Atlanta.


Gottlieb and other Trump administration officials have long made preventing the sale and importation of illicit fentanyl a focus of their efforts to address the opioid crisis. But the comments thrust Gottlieb into a broader fight that has lately consumed Washington — one that is much more squarely focused on scrutinizing major technology companies and their responsibility for what happens on their platforms.

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