Tech giant Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has suggested that former US President Donald Trump was partly responsible for the 6 Janurary insurrection in which rioters stormed the US Capitol.
"I think that the responsibility here lies with the people who took the actions to break the law on taking a dubious direction," Appearing in a US hearing on social media's role in extremism, Zuckerberg said, reports the Telegraph.
"And secondarily, also the people who spread that content, including the President, but others as well, with repeated rhetoric over time, saying that the election was rigged and encouraging people to organise. I think that those people bear the primary responsibility as well," he added.
Zuckerberg denied that Facebook was primarily responsible, despite evidence that rioters and supporters had organised on the service.
"Some people say that the problem is that social networks are polarising us, but that's not at all clear from the evidence or research. Polarisation was rising in America long before social networks were even invented."
Facebook's Zuckerberg, Google's Sundar Pichai and Twitter's Jack Dorsey appeared in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday.
While the bosses have faced multiple rounds of questioning on Capitol Hill, particularly in recent months, this is the first since the insurrection that saw a mob of Donald Trump supporters storm the main US legislative building.
In the days after the riot,Trump was booted off Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, although he may be able to return to the latter two in time.
US members of Congress are considering whether to reform laws that give online platforms broad immunity for the content posted on them by users.