Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

Matt McClain | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook “intentionally as well as knowingly” violated U.K. data privacy as well as anti-competition laws as well as urgently needs to be regulated as well as investigated, a scathing brand-new report by British lawmakers said.

The final report issued Monday by the U.K.’s Digital, Culture, Media as well as Sport committee concluded an 18-month investigation into Facebook as well as some other social media companies for their role in spreading “fake news” as well as disinformation. within the 108-page document, lawmakers called for the creation of an independent regulator for social media sites as well as a mandatory code of conduct which, if breached, could result in “large fines.”

“Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like ‘digital gangsters’ within the online world, considering themselves to be ahead of as well as beyond the law,” the report said.

The committee accused Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg of showing “contempt” toward U.K. parliament for declining to testify in front of lawmakers. Zuckerberg appeared in front of U.S. as well as EU lawmakers to discuss the company’s data collection practices last year although sent some other company representatives to testify in Britain.

“Mark Zuckerberg continually fails to show the levels of leadership as well as personal responsibility which should be expected through someone who sits at the top of one of the entire world’s biggest companies,” Damian Collins, chair of the committee, said on the committee’s website.

In a statement, Facebook said the idea made a “significant contribution” to the investigation, answering more than 700 questions with four senior executives providing evidence, adding the idea supports “effective privacy legislation.”

“While we still have more to do, we are not the same company we were a year ago,” Karim Palant, U.K. public policy manager at Facebook, said.